For my first birthday (29 years ago!), my father's good friend Herb Soll gave me a ficus tree. My Mom and Dad planted it just north of our house. It stood there until my stepmother cut it down in 2001. I've wanted to replace it ever since.
Ficus religiosa is the holiest of ficus trees. In Buddhist circles the tree is a well-known symbol for happiness, prosperity, longevity and good luck. There are many types of ficus tree out there, but I want to plant that one.
I've been looking for one on Saipan for months, but I haven't been able to find one.
I recently found a huge F. religiosa on Tinian, but haven't taken cuttings of it. As far as I know it is the only one in the CNMI. It is so large that I would guess that it has been around since the war.
The Chamorro elder who was with me when I discovered it told me that I had better not touch it, never mind take a cutting. The Sacred Fig is not a Taotao Mona tree, but it is of the same genus.
So two questions, first, does anyone know if there is a F. religiosa plant on Saipan that I can take a cutting from? And second, is there an authority on Taotao Mona trees? How far up the evolutionary branch does the taboo extend? Does a ficus of another species still count as a Taotao Mona tree? Will I really swell up if I touch the tree?