Searched the web for more information on exactly what is a banyan tree and found this.
It's in the family of fig. Seeds are deposited usually by birds on tree trunks. There it germinates takes roots and slowly descend over the trunk of the host seeking out the soil below. Upon reaching the ground, the roots rapidly thicken and lignify. Creating a lattice round the host as the roots fused when cross each other. Competing with the host for light, water and nutrient and preventing the host trunk to grow. Eventually the host dies and rots away leaving the fig self supporting as an ordinary tree, but with a tubular lattice of lignified roots instead of a trunk. For this reason banyans are often referred to as strangler figs.
More of a parasite plant to me. Only this tree kills the host. yikes!!