Supertrees are tree-like structures that dominate the Gardens’ landscape with heights that range between 25 metres (82 ft) and 50 metres (160 ft). They are vertical gardens that perform a multitude of functions, which include planting, shading and working as environmental engines for the gardens.
The Supertrees are home to enclaves of unique and exotic ferns, vines, orchids and also a vast collection of bromeliads such as Tillandsia, amongst other plants. They are fitted with environmental technologies that mimic the ecological function of trees – photovoltaic cells that harness solar energy which can be used for some of the functions of the Supertrees, such as lighting, just like how trees photosynthesize; and collection of rainwater for use in irrigation and fountain displays, exactly like how trees absorb rainwater for growth. The Supertrees also serve air intake and exhaust functions as part of the conservatories’ cooling systems.
There is an elevated walkway, the OCBC Skyway, between two of the larger Supertrees for visitors to enjoy a panoramic aerial view of the Gardens. A food and beverage outlet is planned atop the 50-metre (160 ft) Supertree. Every night, at 7:45pm and 8:45pm, the Supertree Grove comes alive with a coordinated light and music show known as the Garden Rhapsody. The accompanying music to the show changes every month or so, with certain themes such as A World of Wonder and A Night of Musical Theatre, which features excerpts/pieces from films like Jurassic Park and Pirates of the Caribbean.
Italy’s Pavilion in Expo 2015, featured a structure called Albero della Vita (or “Tree of Life” in Italian), which proved visually similar to Singapore’s Supertrees.