This incredibly tall tree is attracting attention of travellers for many years. Coconut palms next to it look almost as low as grass. It seems that this toog tree still remembers the dense jungle of Mindanao around it.
Rosewood unfortunately is disappearing from Philippines – its wood is very hard, valuable and well usable for construction, paper making, plywood. It bears also edible fruits: there is a legend that the fruits are produced only after the tree is struck by lightning. Often the remaining rosewood trees in Mindanao are towering high above other trees.
In 1980 the Alegria Toog was measured by the Reservation and Conservation Foundation of the Philippines – then the height was 87.8 m (288 feet).
In autumn 2010 the people of Alegria decided to organize an extravagant event – to have the highest Christmas tree in Philippines and most likely – in the whole world. In order to record this achievement, there was needed exact measurement. Manobo man named Gil Andipa climbed the tree and the measured height of the tree was 96.9 m. It is though possible that the decoration on the top of the tree was included and the tree is somewhat lower.
Only three species of trees are certainly taller:
- Coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens (D. Don) Endl.), USA, 115.66 m;
- Mountain ash (Eucalyptus regnans F.Muell.), Australia, 99.8 m;
- Coast Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii var. menziesii (Mirb.) Franco), USA, 99.8 m
Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis (Bong) Carr.) in California, USA is 96.7 m tall. It might be taller than Alegria Toog though.
Next tallest is giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum (Lindl.)), USA, 94.9 m tall. It is little likely that decoration on the top of Alegria Toog is 2 m high, thus most likely it is taller than the highest giant sequoia.
Local Manobo people believe in spirits of this tree and with a special tradition have asked for permit to use it as Christmas tree.
With a help of skilled tree climbers the tree was adorned with 3,750 bulbs. Unfortunately rain did damage – part of bulbs blew out. But we all know: the most beautiful part of the festivity is the process of decorating the Christmas tree!
Christmas event has turned the attention of local people to this tree and now it is revered as a valuable tourist landmark.
Barangay Alegria Toog is included in the following list:
- Jojie Alcantara, Majestic Toog: Philippine’s Tallest Living Christmas Tree, PBase. Story with many pictures! Accessed on September 17, 2010.
|Coordinates:||8.5040 N 125.9892 E (possible mistake up to 1 km)|
|Rating:||(3.5 / 5)|
|Address:||Asia, Philippines, Mindanao, Agusan del Sur, Alegria, eastern outskirts of San Francisco town, next to national highway|
|Species:||Philippine rosewood (Petersianthus quadrialatus Merr.)|
|Diameter:||3.66 m at the base|
As a child growing up in the Fraser Valley, Al Carder was awed by the ancient Douglas fir forest and spent hours staring up at trees that commonly stood over 300 feet high. Sixty years later, after retiring from his career as a plant biologist, he set out to find the trees that had transfixed him in his youth. Discovering many of them felled by storms or loggers, he determined to document those that were left before they could vanish from our memories as well as from our landscapes.
The publication of Remarkable Trees of the World took American audiences by storm. Thomas Pakenham embarks on a five-year odyssey to most of the temperate and tropical regions of the world to photograph sixty trees of remarkable personality and presence: Dwarfs, Giants, Monuments, and Aliens; the lovingly tended midgets of Japan; the enormous strangler from India; and the 4,700-year “Old Methusalehs.”