Bananas are large flowering plants - not trees - that grow from 10-20 feet tall. Each plant usually produces a single stem that contains may clusters of bananas, called "hands".
When the plant is 9 months old it produces a long stem and flower. The flower is removed, and the entire stem is bagged to protect the fruit and speed up growth. The two lowest "hands" of fruit are removed to ensure that the bananas get enough nutrition to grow to size. As the fruit matures, each bunch needs more support and cushioning. Newspaper, plastic, or other materials are layered between the bunches to protect them. About eleven weeks after flowering, the fruit is ready for harvest.