I'm not sure if this is a tree or a cactus...this is a photo of my mom and Dad likely taken in the early to mid 80's in south Florida. They made a trip to Orlando one time, and later they visited a relative in Key Largo. So it was taken someplace between Orlando and Key Largo. I've never seen anything like it here in north Florida where I live. I don't know if it's a tree, or a cactus that has grown to look like a tree...but everyone that sees the picture says, "What is that tree??" Thanks in advance for your help.
SOLVED: Does Anyone Recognize this FL Cactus Tree?
I wished you had close ups of the pads themselves but since this was taken back in the 80's I doubt you have any other photos.
Try this on for size:
That is an amazing tree! It is very old. I wonder if it is still there! I was trying to read the sign across the street to do some sleuthing but could not.
I think it is an opuntia too, or maybe even a similar look of a nopalea.
Nopalea cochenillifera, also known as Opuntia cochenillifera maybe?
Look at slideshow on left top corner.
Regardless, I loved seeing your photo!
That looks like it certainly could be it. I believe that sign in the background is the old International House of Pancakes signage. It's what immediately came to mind when I saw it, and the shape of the building looks like that's what it was as well.
Some of those grow pretty large, from what I see on Google. And some resemble the photo. I've looked back at the photo and on Google images of the suggestions several times. I wish the photo was better defined. It's been interesting looking at all the different images.