Hyperion - the tallest tree in the world

Main characteristics

Coordinates: 41.2050 N 124.02 W (approximately, exact location not shown)
No:171        (list of all attractions)
Category:Trees, Biological extremes
Values:Biology
Rank:2
Address:North America, United States, California, Humboldt County, Redwood National Park. Exact location not disclosed.
UNESCO World Heritage status:Part of "Redwood National and State Parks", 1980, No.134.
Species:Coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens (D. Don) Endl.)
Height:115.66 m (2015)
Diameter:4.63 m (2015)
Volume:502 m3

There are known taller coast redwoods but the tallest announced tree of the world currently is Hyperion which in 2015 was 115.66 m tall.

Tallest tree species

There are no doubts that coast redwood is the tallest tree species on Earth. This might be lucky (for coast redwood) coincidence - in recent past there were coast Douglas firs (in United States and Canada) and eucalypts (in Australia) of comparable height and possibly higher, but these trees were ruthlessly cut. Nowadays there are known many hundreds of coast redwoods exceeding the height of 100 m... and no trees of other species exceeding this height.

Recent discovery

Year 2006 was lucky - there were discovered three trees taller than the former world record holder - Stratosphere Giant (113.11 m tall in late 2009). The most successful find was in August 25 when naturalists Chris Atkins and Michael Taylor found the first known living tree on Earth exceeding 115 m height - its height then was 115.72 m. Hyperion is in good shape and seems still to be growing up although measurements from 2015 are slightly less impressive - height is 115.66 m and diameter - 4.63 m (2).

Hyperion - the tallest tree in the world
Hyperion / © Mario Vaden.

Secret location

Traditionally the exact locations of this and many other tall trees in Western United States are not diclosed. This is done to avoid the temptation to "develop" this part of national park or simply - to prevent disturbance to the forest by the crowds of excited nature lovers wading towards the tree. It is only known that it takes arduous walk to reach this remote location in Redwood National Park.

Although part of the scientific community is not happy with this stance (location of the tree is not disclosed even in scientific publications), there are many sad cases when sensitive information from deeply scientific publications easily becomes VERY public. But, of course, heated debates about ethics in science and personal intrigues form the prosaic side in the lives of scientists. The magnificent Hyperion stands tall above this.

There exist taller trees

Until 2013 there were few traces of human activity around the (then) world's tallest known tree. But on the visit from the 2015 there was noticed that more people have found this tree. Thus, step by step this valuable information is seeping through and people manage to find The Tree.

It is known that in 2013 there was discovered even talled coast redwood and later - more taller. Height of record trees is approaching 119 m!!! But currently these trees are not announced to the public (2). Interesting fact is that these trees were not "noticed" by the LiDAR equipment - although measurements were made in these locations. Discovery was made with other, unannouced methods.

Map

See the approximate location of Hyperion on the map of United States!

References

  1. New Pictures of Hyperion, 17 August 2010, accessed on December 18 2010
  2. Hyperion Coast Redwood, Coast Redwood Adventures, accessed on December 26 2016. (images!)

Hyperion is included in the following list:

Map of tallest trees in the world

10 tallest tree species of the world

Recommended books

A Guide to the Sequoia Groves of California

This comprehensive guide is the first to focus on all the giant sequoia groves in the state of California, not just those that are well-known. The author has identified sixty-seven different groups of these forest giants, and has organized them into five different geographic areas from north of the Kings River to south of the Tule River watershed.

Living Among Giants: Botanical Treasures of a Sequoia Grove

When most people walk among giant sequoias, they look up, marveling at the sturdy branches and canopy sprawling hundreds of feet overhead. As a naturalist and artist, however, Shirley Spencer likes to look for the less obvious beauty in her surroundings. And in a sequoia grove, that means bringing her curiosity and keen powers of observation to the diverse plant life that thrives among these famous Californian trees.

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