Top 10 tallest trees in the world
This is a list of the 10 tallest known species of trees in the world. Or, rather – the 10 tallest known species of trees in the world.
The highest concentration of the tallest trees in the world is on the western coast of the United States (5 species) and Tasmania (3 species).
Wondermondo though believes: if people would know everything about Earth, this list would look different, with more species of trees from the tropics.
Map of the sites
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What are the limits of the height of trees?
Scientists of the world have published research papers about the limits of maximum tree height.
Most likely the limiting factor is the ability of a tree to pump the sap up to the top. Peripheral branches of trees often are suffering from xylem embolism when the air is blocking the vessels. Research shows that due to this factor the maximum possible height of the tree is between 109 – 138 m (1). At the big height, the walls of sap vessels become thicker and ducts – more narrow until they are too narrow to let through the water.
Further research shows that conifers, in general, have somewhat larger pores between water-conducting cells than hardwood. Due to this conifers tend to be taller than hardwood trees.
This could not the only reason limiting the height of trees: in a very wet climate tops of the trees might get the water directly from the precipitation – but they still do not grow higher.
Currently the tallest trees in the world are coast redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens) in United States, California. Officially the tallest tree of this species is 115.61 m high but there are credible statements about taller trees.
The tallest trees in the world are much taller than many famous man-made buildings.
This is a list of 10 tallest trees in the world but Wondermondo can offer a lot more than this:
- Trees – description and map of the world’s most impressive and interesting trees.
- Largest trees of the world – unique list of world’s largest trees (by circumference). Circumference of trees in this list exceeds 14 m and currently, there are listed more than 50 species!
- World’s tallest trees – unique list of world’s tallest trees (by species). The height of these trees exceeds 80 m and currently, it includes more than 30 species.
- Top 10 largest trees of the world – 10 largest species of trees of the world by circumference, with a map.
Top 10 tallest tree species
United States, California
Species: Coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens (D. Don) Endl.)
Height: 115.85 m
The current tallest publicly announced tree was discovered in 2006, the latest known measurement was made in 2017.
There is no doubt that coast redwood is the tallest tree species in the world. This might be a lucky (for coast redwood) coincidence because in the recent past there were coast Douglas firs (in the United States and Canada) and eucalyptus (in Australia) of comparable height and possibly higher. Unfortunately, these trees were ruthlessly cut. Nowadays there are known many hundreds of coast redwoods exceeding the height of 100 m… and only one more tree of other species exceeding this height.
There are known taller coast redwoods, nearly 119 m tall but these trees are not publicly announced.
The tallest and largest known tree was the Lindsey Creek tree (Fieldbrook, California) that was uprooted by a storm in 1905. This tree was 118.9 m tall, diameter could reach 11.6 m.
See images of Hyperion at L’Antic Colonial!
Species: Shorea faguetiana
Height: 100.8 m
This tree was discovered and measured in January 2019. It is named Menara – “tower” in Malayan. Next to it are other trees of similar height. Menara is the world’s tallest known flowering plant and tallest tropical tree – but there still are chances to find a taller one.
There are some discussions about whether this tree is taller or less tall than Centurion: Menara is measured to the lowest part of its trunk and the medium height could be 98.53 or even 97.58 m. (5)
Species: Mountain ash or swamp gum (Eucalyptus regnans F.Muell.)
Height: 99.82 m (March 2017)
The current tallest tree of this species was discovered in August 2008.
It is a lucky coincidence that Centurion has survived. Wildfires in 1934 spared just a few older trees in this area and passed on the west side. In 1950 loggers worked nearby and at that time this giant tree would not be spared. Then, in 1966 and 1967 the forest close nearby was deliberately burned for later regeneration. In 1967 this turned into furious, devastating fires. This time fire passed the tree on the east side. In January 2019 the tree suffered burns but lives.
It is well possible that this tree is more than 100 meters high: laser measurements in December 2018 gave a figure of 100.5 m! Tree climbers have reported that the crown is healthy and is resprouting from the broken top, thus some time ago Centurion was some 103 meters high.
United States, Oregon
Species: Coast Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii var. menziesii (Mirb.) Franco)
Height: 99.75 m
The current tallest tree was discovered in 1989, the last measurement known to Wondermondo – in 2011 (6).
In 1897 there was cut reportedly 142 m tall fir in Loup’s Ranch, Washington state. The reliable historical record holder is the 119.8 m tall Mineral Tree with a diameter of 4.6 m. It is highly possible that coast Douglas firs in recent past were the tallest trees in the world.
United States, California
Species: Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis (Bong) Carr.)
Height: 96.7 m
The current tallest tree was discovered in 2001, the last known measurement was made in 2007 (7.).
Exact location of this enormous tree is not disclosed – Wondermondo knows only that the tree is located in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. State established this park in the 1920ies in order to protect redwood forest with extremely tall and large trees. Their growth is facilitated by the very frequent fogs.
Tree has a lively top, it seems to be growing and might be taller by now.
United States, California
Species: Giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum (Lindl.) J.Buchh.)
Height: 95.8 m
Giant sequoias by far are the largest trees in the world by volume. They are also some of the tallest trees in the world reaching well over the height of 90 m. Some giant sequoias in earlier times reached the height of 97.8 m.
The current tallest tree was discovered and measured in 2013. It grows in Converse Basin and does not have any specific name. The exact location of the tree is not provided.
Bhutan, Wangdue Phodrang District
Species: Bhutan weeping cypress (Cupressus corneyana Carrière 1855). Discussions about the taxonomy of local cypresses continue.
Height: 94.6 m
The diameter of this giant tree is 4.27 m (8).
Contrary to many other supertall trees of the world, this cypress grows alone, in the Himalayan valley, without the protection of other tall trees.
This is a sacred and legendary tree, with annual festivities at it.
Species: Manna gum or white gum (Eucalyptus viminalis Labill.)
Height: 91.3 m
The current tallest tree of this species was discovered in the 1970ies.
Manna gum is common, for the most part comparatively small tree. It was a surprise when in the 1970ies loggers discovered nearly 90 m tall trees of this species in the northeast part of Tasmania. To protect them in 1977 state created Evercreech Forest Reserve. Now the tree has exceeded 90 m in height.
Species: Tasmanian blue gum (Eucalyptus globulus Labill.)
Height: 90.7 m
Tasmanian blue gum is a popular plantation tree because it is well suited for the Mediterranean climate and tropics. This tree grows fast and serves as a good material for pulp and eucalyptus oil. The current record holder is not the tallest known tree of this species: there existed up to 101 m tall Tasmanian blue gums.
There is information about 92.3 m tall tree named Metakareta in Styx River Valley.
Species: Australian oak (Eucalyptus obliqua L’Hér.)
Height: 88 m
Boreas is located in one of the most impressive eucalyptus forests of the world in the Styx Valley.
The tree is has a girth of 11 m and volume of 193 m3 (9). There is no news about it since 2006.
- Jean-Christophe Domec, Barbara Lachenbruch, Frederick C. Meinzer, David R. Woodruff, Jeffrey M. Warren, and Katherine A. McCulloh, Maximum height in a conifer is associated with conflicting requirements for xylem design, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. August 11, 2008. Accessed 18.12.10.
- Elizabeth Pennisi, The Sky Is Not the Limit, Science. December 23, 2005. Accessed 18.12.10.
- George W. Koch, Stephen C. Sillett, Gregory M. Jennings & Stephen D. Davis, The limits to tree height. Nature. April 22, 2004. Accessed 19.12.10.
- M.Vaden, Hyperion Coast Redwood, website “Coast Redwood Adventures”. Last accessed 3.12.19.
- Alexander Shenkin et al.. The World’s Tallest Tropical Tree in Three Dimensions. Frontiers in Forests and Global Change, 18 June 2019. doi: 10.3389/ffgc.2019.00032
- Doerner Fir | Tallest Douglas Fir, Coast Redwood Adventures, accessed on December 23 2016.
- 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.
- Historically Significant Trees of Bhutan. Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Conservation and Environmental Research. 2018.
- Walter Herrmann. Vulnerability of Tasmanian giant trees, Australian Forestry 2006 Vol. 69 No. 4 pp. 285–298. Last accessed on 6 December 2019.