World’s tallest trees

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Arve Big Tree, Tasmania, Australia
Arve Big Tree, Tasmania, Australia / TTaylor, Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0

Wondermondo has listed the world’s tallest trees by champions of species.

List begins with the tallest trees and includes all the known species above the height of 80 m.

Please note: this list is far from the final truth! We can be confident that nature has created many more species of tall trees. Also the listed trees can change.

Arve Big Tree in Tasmania, Australia
Arve Big Tree, Tasmania, Australia / TTaylor, Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0

List of the world’s tallest trees

More than 100 m

  • 1. Hyperion – United States, California. This coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens (D. Don) Endl.) is the world’s tallest tree. It’s height is 115.66 m, diameter: 4.63 m. Contains 502 m3 of wood. In total more than 500 coast redwoods exceed the height of 103 m. (1) There are known taller coast redwoods with a height close to 119 m but these trees are not announced to the public (10).

95 – 100 m

  • 2. Centurion – Australia, Tasmania. Highest known mountain ash and eucalypt (Eucalyptus regnans F.Muell.) in the world. Height 99.8 m, diameter 4.05 m (girth roughly 13.7 m), volume 268 m3. In the past this tree was at least 103 m tall but the top is broken (2,7).
  • 3. Doerner Fir (Brummet Fir, Brummitt Fir) – Oregon, United States. Tallest coast Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii var. menziesii (Mirb.) Franco) in the world. Height 99.8 m, diameter 3.54 m, volume 237 m3. Some time ago was 100.3 m tall (8).
  • 4. Raven’s Tower – United States, California. Reportedly tallest Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis (Bong) Carr.), 96.7 m high (13).
  • 5. Barangay Alegria Toog tree – Philippines, Agusan del Sur. Tallest known Philippine rosewood (Petersianthus quadrialatus Merr.), 96.9 m high or a bit lower, with 3,66 m diameter at its base. Sacred tree to Manobo people (14).
  • 6. Tallest Giant Sequoia in Converse Basin – United States, California, Converse Basin. Tallest giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum (Lindl.)), 95.8 m high (15).

90 – 95 m

  • 7. Tallest Shorea tree, Danum Valley – Malaysia, Sabah. Shorea spp., 94.1 m tall. Possibly the tallest tree in tropics (16).
  • 8. White Knight – Australia, Tasmania. Highest manna gum (Eucalyptus viminalis). 91.3 m high, diameter 3.30 m (girth 11.0 m), volume 180 m3 (2).
  • 9. Neeminah Loggorale Meena – Australia, Tasmania. Highest Tasmanian blue gum (Eucalyptus globulus Labill.). Height 90.7 m, diameter 3.88 m, girth 12.2 m. There are claims that other specimens of species were up to 101 m tall (17).

85 – 90 m

  • 10. Noble fir in Goat Marsh (possibly should be excluded from the list) – United States, Washington. Highest known specimen in species (Abies procera Rehder 1940), height 89.9 m (18). Tree is dead but was still standing in 1996, no news since then. Tallest ever recorded – 99.06 m tall.
  • 11. Tallest yellow meranti tree, Maliau Basin – Malaysia, Sabah. Tallest known tree of this species (Shorea faguetiana Heim.), 89.5 m tall (20).
  • 12. Klinki in Bulolo Valley (possibly should be excluded from the list) – Papua New Guinea, Morobe. Reported (but not verified) 88.9 m high specimen of Klinki Araucaria hunsteinii (K.Schumann 1889) in 1941. These trees are very tall and there is high possibility to find very tall specimens today as well (21).
  • 13. Alpine Ash in Florentine Valley – Australia, Tasmania. Highest alpine ash (Eucalyptus delegatensis R.T.Baker). Height 87.9 m, diameter 3.07 m, volume 161 m3 (22).
  • 14. King Stringy – Australia, Tasmania. Highest Australian oak (Eucalyptus obliqua L’Hér.). 86 m high, diameter 4.07 m, volume 230 m3 (17).
  • 15. Pontiankak Putih Cantik (Tualang of Mengaris Knob) – Malaysia, Sabah, Tawau Hills National Park. Tallest measured tree of this species (Koompassia excelsa (Becc.) Taub.), 85.76 m tall. (4) There are unconfirmed reports of more tall trees in this species.
  • 16. Dismissed – Australia, Tasmania. Highest known swamp gum (Eucalyptus ovata Labill.), height – 85.1 m (17).
  • 17. Stewart’s Tree (Stewart Karri) – Australia, Western Australia, between Manjimup and Carlotta. 85 m tall karri (Eucalyptus diversicolor) (23, also image on Google Earth). There are constantly found specimens which are more than 80 m tall.
  • 18. Shining Gum in O’Shannassy catchment – Australia, Victoria, Yarra Ranges National Park. 85 m tall shining gum (Eucalyptus nitens) (23).

80 – 85 m

  • 19. Dark Red Meranti, Gaharu Ridge – Malaysia, Sabah, Taway Hills National Park. 84.85 m tall Shorea argentifolia, measured in 2007 (4).
  • 20. Shorea superba, Gergassi Ridge – Malaysia, Sabah, Tawau Hills National Park. 84.4 m tall Shorea superba, measured in 2007 (4).
  • 21. Sugar Pine at Sierra Nevada mountains – United States, California, foothills of Sierra Nevada. Tallest known sugar pine (Pinus lambertiana), 83.5 m tall, discovered in 2015 (11).
  • 22. Tsunami – United States, Washington (Olympic National Park). 83.3 m tall Western Hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla), discovered and measured in 2011. Circumference – 6.05 m. According to (9) there are known taller western hemlocks (9).
  • 23. Hopea nutans, Gaharu Ridge – Malaysia, Sabah, Tawau Hills National Park. 82.8 m tall Hopea nutans, measured in 2007 (4).
  • 24. Shorea johorensis, Coco-Park boundary – Malaysia, Sabah, Tawau Hills National Park. 82.4 m tall Shorea johorensis, measured in 2007 (4).
  • 25. Shorea smithiana, Coco-Park boundary – Malaysia, Sabah, Tawau Hills National Park. 82.3 m tall Shorea smithiana, measured in 2007 (4).
  • 26. "Phalanx" – United States, Oregon. Tallest known ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa), 81.8 m tall, discovered in 2011. Diameter at breast height – 5.7 m (11).
  • 27. Entandrophragma excelsum, Kilimanjaro – Tanzania, Kilimanjaro. 81.5 m tall Entandrophragma excelsum, reported in 2016 (5).
  • 28. Eucalyptus saligna in Woodbush Plantation (The Quartet) – South Africa, Limpopo. Tallest reported Eucalyptus saligna, planted tree which originates from Australia. There is some confusion regarding this tree – according to some reports in September 2006 one Eucalyptus saligna of such height fell down during a storm.(3) Nevertheless another report from 2013 hints at existing Eucalyptus saligna in the same Woodbush Plantation as newly discovered and with the same height of 81.5 m . Circumference of the tree is only 3.28 m (6).
  • 29. Grand fir in Glacier Peak Wilderness – United States, Washington. This 81.4 m tall Abies grandis with a diameter of 158 cm and stem volume 53 m³ was reported in 1993. No news since then (19).
  • 30. Shorea gibbosa, River Flats – Malaysia, Sabah, Tawau Hills National Park. 81.1 m tall Shorea gibbosa, measured in 2007 (4).
  • 31. Port Orford Cedar near Hiouchi – United States, California, Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park. Tallest known Port Orford Cedar (Chamaecyparis lawsoniana), 81.1 m tall, discovered in 2009 (12).
  • 32. Parashorea diversicolor in Borneo – Malaysia, Sabah. 80.2 m tall tree (24).

References

  1. Hyperion, the world’s tallest living tree. Monumental Trees. Accessed in 24 December 2016.
  2. Register of Australia’s Champion Trees. Accessed in 24 December 2016.
  3. Izak van der Merwe, Tallest trees in Africa climbed: Eucalyptus saligna & E. regnans. Eucalyptologics, GIT Forestry Consulting’s Blog. Accessed in 24 December 2016.
  4. Roman Dial, Message from February 2007. Accessed in 24 December 2016.
  5. Andreas Hemp, Reiner Zimmermann, Sabine Remmele, Ulf Pommer, Bernd Berauer, Claudia Hemp, Markus Fischer. Africa’s highest mountain harbours Africa’s tallest trees. Biodiversity and Conservation, 17 October 2016. Accessed in 24 December 2016.
  6. David "Dak" Wiles, message Explore: The Ancient Trees Of Africa: Tree Height Data in Native Tree Society BBS forum. Accessed on 24 December 2016.
  7. Brett Mifsud et al, message "Centurion re-measured" on Native Tree Society BBS forum, December 30 2014. Accessed on 24 December 2016.
  8. Doerner Fir | Tallest Douglas Fir, Coast Redwood Adventures, accessed on 23 December 2016.
  9. World’s Tallest Hemlock Discovery of 2011, Coast Redwood Adventures, accessed on 26 December 2016.
  10. Hyperion Coast Redwood, Coast Redwood Adventures, accessed on 26 December 2016.
  11. World’s Tallest Pine. 268.29′ Ponderosa ~ 2011, Coast Redwood Adventures, accessed on 26 December 2016.
  12. Tallest Port Orford Cedar, Coast Redwood Adventures, accessed on 26 December 2016.
  13. M. W.Taylor, New 370′ class redwood to report, CA eNTS: The Magazine of the Native Tree Society – Volume 1, Number 7, July 2011, page 87. Accessed on 26 December 2016.
  14. Jojie Alcantara, Majestic Toog: Philippine’s Tallest Living Christmas Tree, PBase. Story with many pictures! Accessed on September 17, 2010.
  15. Monumental Trees, Giant sequoia in the Giant Sequoia National Monument, accessed on 23nd December 2016.
  16. Mongabay, World’s tallest tropical tree discovered, along with nearly 50 other record-breakers, 10 November 2016. Accessed on December 23, 2016.
  17. Giant Trees. Tasmania’s world class giants.
  18. The Gymnosperm Database. Abies procera. Accessed on 26th December 2016.
  19. The Gymnosperm Database. Abies grandis. Accessed on 26th December 2016.
  20. Minecraft tree "probably" the tallest tree in the Tropics, University of Cambridge. Accessed on July 20, 2016.
  21. Gray B. Size composition and regeneration of Araucaria stands in New Guinea. Journal of Ecology (British Ecological Society), 63: 273-289.
  22. Herrmann, Walter. Vulnerability of Tasmanian Giant Trees. Australian Forestry Volume 69 Issue 4 (Dec 2006).
  23. Brett M. Mifsud. Victoria’s tallest trees. Australian Forestry 66(3), September 2003. Accessed on 27th December 2016.
  24. D. Y. P. Tng, G. J. Williamson, G. J. Jordan, D. M. J. S. Bowman. Giant eucalypts – globally unique fire-adapted rain-forest trees?, see Table S1 "Tree species known to reach 70 m in height in natural vegetation" New Phytologist, Vol 196, Issue 4, December 2012, pp.1001 – 1014. Accessed on the 27th December 2016.
Doerner Fir, Oregon - one of world's tallest trees
Doerner Fir, Oregon – one of world’s tallest trees / US Bureau of Land Management, public domain

Other articles about the trees:

General description

Chandelier Tree, California
Chandelier Tree, California / Bobak Ha’Eri, Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-2.5.

Which are the world’s tallest trees?

The world’s tallest trees are several species of conifers and also eucalypts.

Nowadays convincing champion is coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens (D. Don) Endl.): many hundreds of these trees surpass the height of the second highest tree species in the world.

When in 2000 there was found the highest known coast redwood – Stratosphere Giant (now 113.05 metres high), it was announced that discovery of a taller tree is little likely. This is symptomatic – when somebody starts to think that all discoveries are made, new ones come. Since then in a few years time were discovered three trees which are higher than Stratosphere Giant. Current publicly announced record – Hyperion – was discovered in September 2006. Height of Hyperion is close to the historical record of species. There are known taller coast redwoods, nearly 119 m tall – but these trees are not publicly announced.

Coast redwood nowadays is the only tree species which exceeds 100 meters height.

Very close to this threshold of 100 meters – may be exceeding it a little – is the next champion from another side of the globe. Mountain ash (Eucalyptus regnans F.Muell.) named Centurion was discovered in Tasmania, Australia in 2008. Its height – 99.8 meters. This species might have been the highest on Earth up to the late 19th century – there are reports of 132.6 meters high eucalyptus from 1871-1872 and more reliable measurement of another tree in 1881 – measured height was 114.3 m. Both these trees were located in Victoria where nowadays most eucalyptus have been felled. There are rumors of trees exceeding 150 meters height from the middle of the 19th century. There are much hopes on new trees – some eucalyptus have reached the height of 85 meters in 80 years time.

Other very tall trees

Several more species of trees are close to the threshold of 100 meters. Tallest known coast Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii var. menziesii (Mirb.) Franco) in Oregon, United States is 99.4 meters high. There is a report of 142 meters high tree from Washington, United States from 1897.

Current highest Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis Bong.) Carr.) is 96.9 meters high, several more trees exceed 96 meters height and this also gives a good hope that this enormous spruce can exceed 100 meters height.

There is unconfirmed information about 85 – 95 m tall specimens of Cupressus himalaica in Bhutan.

(Un)completeness of the list of world’s tallest trees

Highest palms in the world in Cocora Valley, Colombia
Highest palms in the world in Cocora Valley, Colombia / Diego Andrés Alvarez Marín, Wikimedia Commons. CC-BY-SA-3.0

Climbing a very tall tree is very hard. At first one should overcome 40 – 60 meters height until he reaches the first branches. At this moment a man already could be at the height of 15-floor building. Then he should ascend the tip of the tree – as high as possible. It might be shaky and brittle and full height might not be reached. Measurement by trigonometric methods for most part is out of question – tall trees often grow in deep ravines, surrounded by other large trees.

Due to this the height of tall trees is not measured too often. We know very little about the world’s tallest trees.

Good example for this is the expedition of R.Dial (Alaska Pacific University) to Sabah, Malaysia in 2007. Here in the area of 2 km2 were found 8 species of trees exceeding the height of 80 meters!

Thus – the quest for the world’s tallest trees still is open.

Recommended books

King Sequoia


From a towering tree, one of California’s preeminent naturalists unspools a history that echoes across generations and continents. Former park ranger William C. Tweed takes readers on a tour of the Big Trees in a narrative that travels deep into the Sierras, around the West, and all the way to New Zealand; and in doing so he explores the American public’s evolving relationship with sequoias.

Giant Trees of Western America and the World


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.

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