Strange Tree

My husband and I were driving to Port Elizabeth from Johannesburg in December 2010, when we drove by a strange looking tree in a small town. We just had to get out of the car to take a look at it. From the bottom it looks like a succulent - but do succulents grow that tall? If someone knows what type of tree that is, please let us know! Today we learned that it is an alien tree from Brazil. Those branches at the top are its children. It will fall over and the kids will form new trees. In South Africa it is considered a threat. Still amazing to see though!