Puerto Rico ’s national tree, the ceiba, plays an important role in Puerto Rico’s environment. Its massive ridged trunks were carved into canoes by the Taíno Indians, and its tall umbrella-shaped branches rise to 150 feet, high above the forest canopy, where it provides a habitat for birds, tree frogs, and insects. It is also host to many aerial plants, including bromeliads.
To see Ponce ’s 300-year-old ceiba tree, travel west from Plaza de Las Delicias  on Calle Comericio (Carr. 133) and turn left on Avenida La Ceiba just before you get to Highway 12. The massive gnarled trunk and thick canopy stand in majestic defiance of the surrounding urban blight that threatens to crowd it out.