Top 10 largest trees in the world
This is a list of the 10 largest – in fact, stoutest – known species of trees in the world. These trees have the largest circumference of their trunks.
This list is not final and from time to time Wondermondo updates this list.
If you happen to know a tree species that should be here – please, let me know!
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Some remarks about this list
While Wondermondo has tried his best to collect exact measurements (1.3 – 1.5 m above the ground or above the buttresses, a tree with a single trunk, etc.), there are deviations from this principle:
- The possible stoutest tree of the world – balete tree in Maria Aurora (Philippines) consists of numerous smaller trunks that are bundled together. Nevertheless, this giant tree leaves a largely monolithic impression and thus it is included here. Also, the other banyan (Banyan in Lomteuheakal, Vanuatu) in this list may include numerous smaller air roots, but its trunk is certainly one whole.
- Some trees are not measured and the given figures are approximate. This again refers to both banyans whose dimensions are determined by comparing their diameter to the height of people standing at these trees. Wondermondo though has made the necessary approximations and taken a precautionary approach, e.g., in reality, these trees almost certainly are LARGER.
- Most of the trees which are listed here, are in some way unusual – some have larger circumference due to enormous branch near the ground level (Sagole Tree), others have trunks of non-typical configuration (Árbol del Tule) and regarding the oriental plane Tnjri it is not clear whether its lower part is buttress or a remnant of once a giant tree.
This is a list of the 10 largest trees in the world by circumference but Wondermondo can offer a lot more than this:
- Trees – description of more than 60 world’s most impressive and interesting trees.
- Largest trees of the world – unique list of the largest trees in the world by species and circumference. Circumference of trees in this list exceeds 14 m and currently, there are listed more than 50 species!
- Tallest trees in the world – unique list of the world’s tallest trees (by species). The height of these trees exceeds 80 m and currently, it includes more than 15 species.
- Top 10 tallest trees in the world – 10 tallest species of trees in the world.
Top 10 largest trees in the world
Species: Balete (Ficus balete Merr.) or weeping fig (Ficus benjamina L.)
Circumference: > 37.7 m
Height: 60 – 65 m
There is an eerie and somewhat creepy balete tree amidst papaya plantations near Maria Aurora village. It is some 60 – 65 m tall and some 60 adult people are needed to get their arms around this incredible tree. This is Millenium Tree – possibly the largest tree in the world.
The tree has a diameter of some 12 – 15 m. This is more than any other tree in the world known to Wondermondo. Still – we can not be completely sure whether Millenium Tree has the stoutest trunk in the world because it consists of numerous smaller aerial roots and trunks.
Species: Montezuma cypress (Taxodium mucronatum Ten., 1853)
Circumference: 36.2 m
Height: 35.4 m
One of main tourist attractions in the Mexican state of Oaxaca is an amazing tree – Árbol del Tule (Tule Tree). This Montezuma cypress at the breast height has a circumference of 36.2 m, thus making this species second stoutest in the world.
This tree most likely is some 1,400 – 1,600 years old and has been a sacred tree to local Zapotec culture.
Configuration of the trunk of Árbol del Tule is unusual – tree is buttressed, with elongated form of the cross-section of the trunk. This unusual form and unique size of most likely is caused by the great age and existence of mighty branches which are “fortified” with fast growth under these branches in order to prevent them from splitting.
South Africa, Limpopo Province
Species: Baobab (Adansonia digitata L.)
Circumference: 33.72 m
Height: 22 m
The Champion tree of South Africa is Sagole Baobab. This really means something – in South Africa, there are some of the stoutest trees in the world.
This giant tree currently is the stoutest in the country. Some time ago the stoutest was Glencoe Baobab with an incredible circumference of 46.6 meters, but unfortunately, this tree split into two parts in November 2009.
We do not know the age of Sagole Baobabv with scientific certainty but most likely it exceeds 1,000 years by far.
United States, California
Species: Giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum (Lindl.) J.Buchh.)
Circumference: 27.8 m
Height: 81.5 m
Those who have seen this tree say that no images, numbers, or descriptions can create a real-life impression. General Grant Tree by all accounts is an unforgettable view – this is the third-largest tree in the world by volume, extremely tall, stout, and approximately 1,650 years old.
Some sequoias have a bigger circumference at the ground level. For example, the Waterfall Tree in Alder Creek Grove has a circumference of 47 m at the ground level. This circumference though is not entirely correct – it includes the buttress while the correct measurement is 1.3 – 1.4 m above the buttresses.
Species: Oriental plane (Platanus orientalis L.)
Circumference: 27 m
Height: 54 m
Most likely the largest plane-tree in the world grows in Karabakh. This tree, reportedly, is more than 2,030 years old and its trunk has a circumference of 27 m.
Tree is sacred to local people and traditions prohibit doing any harm to the tree. According to stories this tree has been visited by many famous people – such as the inventor of the Armenian alphabet Mesrop Mashtots (the 5th century AD), first Armenian historian Movses Khorenatsi (the 5th century AD), musician and poet Sayat-Nova (the 18th century).
It is not known to Wondermondo whether the circumference of 27 m is measured at the base of the tree or at the classic 1.3 m height. One source (In Russian: Anokhin G.I., 1999., Three fates) states that circumference at the base is 31.5 m, thus it is possible that 27 m are measured at the breast height.
Species: Chinese banyan (Ficus microcarpa L.f.)
Circumference: 26 m
In Lomteuheakal village (central Tanna Island) stands a giant and beautiful banyan tree which has one of the thickest trunks in the world. Circumference of this tree reaches or exceeds 26 meters.
Banyan in Lomteuheakal has a single central trunk which looks very impressive. Wondermondo has not found information about the circumference of this tree but there are multiple images with people standing next to the tree. Thus it is easy to compare the height of people with the diameter of the tree: the diameter of the tree is at least 8 m but most likely a bit more. Thus we can assume that its circumference is 26 m or more.
Species: Camphor tree Cinnamomum camphora ((L.) J.Presl.)
Circumference: 24.22 m
Height: 30 m
The largest camphor tree Cinnamomum camphora in Japan and, possibly, the world is Kamou no Ohkusu. Circumference of its trunk is 24.22 m!
Kamou no Ohkusu is a very old tree (estimated age at least 1,500 years) and a legendary tree. The tree was damaged by the fierce typhoons in 1997 and 2004 but local townspeople do whatever possible to keep care of this natural monument.
Inside the tree is a large hollow, with an area of some 13 m², just like a pretty large room. This hollow was a popular resting place for homeless people until April 2000, when a locked door was installed in front of this unusual room. Next to the tree is also a school and also children earlier loved to hide in the hollow.
Madagascar, Atsimo-Andrefana Region
Species: Adansonia za (Baill.)
Circumference: 23 m
It is well possible that the giant baobab near Reakaly village at Ampanihy town is the largest tree in Madagascar. The trunk of this beautiful tree has a circumference of some 23 m.
Reakaly village is located in the unique Madagascar dry forest ecosystem. This eerie landscape is adorned with spiky, greyish-brown plants of fantastic forms.
This giant baobab is a sacred tree – a picturesque tree with hundreds of bats living in its hollow. Under the tree lives (or lived?) a snake – Madagascar ground boa.
United States, California
Species: Coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens (D. Don) Endl.)
Circumference: 22.73 m
Height: 93.6 m
Coast redwood is the tallest tree in the world, but also the girth of its trunk is very large. Del Norte Titan has the largest circumference of the single trunk in this species – 22.73 m.
Del Norte Titan was discovered on May 11, 1998, and this beautiful tree has the fourth largest volume of wood in the world.
Serious contender to the title of stoutest redwood is Lost Monarch just across the nearby Mill Creek. This giant tree has a larger circumference (24.13 m), it is also taller – a fantastic 97.84 m and has a larger wood volume. Nevertheless, its circumference includes several trunks.
Species: Red tingle (Eucalyptus jacksonii Maiden)
Circumference: 22.3 m
Height: 30 m
In the southern part of Western Australia grows unique subtropical forest – Valley of the Giants. Here are some of the largest trees in the world, including the Giant Tingle Tree.
This giant tree is very unusual – it is “emptied out” by a giant hollow. This hollow is some 15 m high and has been created by forest fires and further expanded by insects and fungus. Now in this hollow can enter one hundred people – and it still would not feel congested. The tree looks as if it may fall in the next storm but it miraculously stands and persists.
Specialists consider that the Giant Tingle Tree is some 400 years old. The tree has lost the upper half of its trunk and thus is much lower than many other old red tingles.
Beth Moon’s fourteen-year quest to photograph ancient trees has taken her across the United States, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. Some of her subjects grow in isolation, on remote mountainsides, private estates, or nature preserves; others maintain a proud, though often precarious, existence in the midst of civilization.
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.”