Humans like to think that they are special. We look around, and we see all that we have achieved with our technology, and we think that we have mastered the Earth. We like to think that our lives are more than just a blip on a timeline—that we are more than dust drifting in the breeze.
However, when we compare ourselves to some of the other organisms that inhabit our planet, that’s exactly what we look like: Small blips of dust drifting aimlessly in amidst the cosmos. Take, for example, Hyperion.
In Greek mythology, “hyperion” means “the tall one.” In the myths, he was one of the twelve titan children. In reality, Hyperion is a tree that is nearly 380 feet tall (116 meters). We were able to get a precise measurement of its height thanks to some very technical scientific methods…essentially, a team of scientists climbed the tree and dropped a tape measure down.
Well, not essentially; that’s exactly what they did.
Image by iltwmt.com
The tree was found in August of 2006 by Chris Atkins and Michael Taylor in the Redwood Park in California. It is a coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens
How Tall is the Tallest Tree on Earth?
On a recent trip up the California and Oregon coasts, I was lucky enough to walk amongst some of the most ancient and gargantuan living organisms: coast redwoods (aka sequoia sempervirens). And when I say ancient and gargantuan, I mean it. Coast redwoods live from 1,000 to 2,000 years (or maybe even more) and are the tallest living things on the planet.
Exactly how tall? Well, the largest specimen, known as Hyperion, rises to 379.3 feet. Just to give a bit of perspective: 379.3 feet is a little over 126 yards. Which means that this tree is a few yards longer than an American football field measured from the back of one end zone to the other.
So yeah, this tree is really Really REALLY tall. Where is it?
Hyperion was discovered in August of 2006 by two hikers somewhere in Northern California. But where exactly? Dunno! The precise location has been kept secret to discourage visitors who could put the tree and its surrounding ecosystem in jeopardy—too much foot traffic isn’t good for a tree’s roots, among other potential problems. At only 800 years old, Hyperion is just a baby, and it’d be nice to let it live out a long and natural life.
If you’re interested in reading more about Hyperion, the always eloquent Robert Krulwich (from the awesome Radiolab podcast) wrote a great piece about the tree in his “Krulwich Wonders” blog.
And if you ever get a chance to see and walk amongst these magnificent trees—maybe not Hyperion, but perhaps some of its slightly smaller siblings—don’t miss it. They don’t disappoint.
Tall Tree image courtesy of Shutterstock
Top 10 tallest trees in the world
Wondermondo has listed the tallest trees in the world by the tallest existing specimens.
We start with No.10 and end with the tallest tree on Earth – No.1.!
|Species:||Australian oak (Eucalyptus obliqua L’Hér.)|
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 are no news about it since 2006.
9. Neeminah Loggorale Meena
|Species:||Tasmanian blue gum (Eucalyptus globulus Labill.)|
Tasmanian blue gum is popular plantation tree because it is well suited for Mediterranean climate and tropics. This tree grows fast and serves as a good material for pulp and eucalyptus oil.
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.
8. Sir Vim (One of White Knights)
White Knight – one of the tallest trees in the world / Nicolás Boullosa, Flickr. CC BY 2.
|Species:||Manna gum or white gum (Eucalyptus viminalis Labill.)|
Current tallest tree of this species was discovered in the 1970ies.
Manna gum is common, for 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 height.
7. Cypress tree near Bay Langdra Ney
|Location:||Bhutan, Wangdue Phodrang District|
|Species:||Bhutan weeping cypress (Cupressus corneyana Carrière 1855). Discussions about the taxonomy of local cypresses continue.|
Diameter of this giant tree is 4.27 m (8).
Contrary to many other supertall trees of the world, this cypress grows alone, in Himalayan valley, without the protection of other tall trees.
This is a sacred and legendary tree, with annual festivities at it.
6. Tallest Giant Sequoia in Converse Basin
|Location:||United States, California|
|Species:||Giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum (Lindl.) J.Buchh.)|
Giant sequoias by far are the largest trees in the world by volume. They are also some 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.
Current tallest tree was discovered and measured in 2013. It grows in Converse Basin and does not have any specific name. Exact location of the tree is not provided.
|Location:||United States, California|
|Species:||Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis (Bong) Carr.)|
Current tallest tree was discovered in 2001, 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.
4. Doerner Fir
Crater Lake, Oregon. / Bureau of Land Management Oregon and Washington, Flickr / CC BY 2.
|Location:||United States, Oregon|
|Species:||Coast Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii var. menziesii (Mirb.) Franco)|
Current tallest tree was discovered in 1989, last measurement known to Wondermondo – in 2011 (6).
In 1897 there was cut reportedly 142 m tall fir in Loup’s Ranch, Washington state. 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.
|Species:||Mountain ash or swamp gum (Eucalyptus regnans F.Muell.)|
|Height:||99.82 m (March 2017)|
Current tallest tree of this species was discovered in August 2008.
It is lucky coincidence that Centurion has survived. Wildfires in 1934 spared just a few older trees in this area and passed on 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 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 crown is healthy and is respouting from broken top, thus some time ago Centurion was some 103 meters high.
See image of this tree in the Website of Dean Nicolle and Tasmania’s Giant Trees website!
2. Menara – Shorea faguetiana in Danum Valley
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 whether this tree is taller 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)
|Location:||United States, California|
|Species:||Coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens (D. Don) Endl.)|
Current tallest publicly announced tree was discovered in 2006, latest known measurement was made in the 2017.
There are no doubts that coast redwood is the tallest tree species in the world.
This might be lucky (for coast redwood) coincidence because in the recent past there were coast Douglas firs (in 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.
Tallest and largest known tree was Lindsey Creek tree (Fieldbrook, California) which 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!
The 10 Tallest Trees In The World (& Where To See Them)
Do you love to get lost in the forest? Does the feeling of wandering among the trees, the smallness of being surrounded by giants whose canopy shelters you and locks in the earthy scent of leaves and bark evoke a sense of contentedness within you?
RELATED: The 10 Best American Swamp Tours To Go On In 2019
For thousands of years, mankind has seen a certain divinity in trees, in some cases, literally worshiping them. Trees are a source of life for us, and our fascination with them is no mysterious phenomenon.
Of course, the fact that trees can grow up to 10, 20, even 30 stories high probably helps. Those who are particularly allured by trees should check out these 10 tallest trees in the world.
The focus will also be on trees that are presumed to still be alive.
11 Bonus Round – King Stringy, Tasmania
Affectionately named King Stringy, this stringybark tree rounds off the list of the world's tallest trees. The King rises above its neighbors, standing 282 feet tall, the tallest Eucalyptus obliqua.
The stringybark is named for its flaky, stringy bark that peels easily. No need to worry though, as this species is one of the toughest trees out there. The wood and bark of the tree are quite sturdy, and its flowers provide a haven for bees. All in all, this is one pretty kingly tree.
10 Alpine Ash, Tasmania
Tasmania's Florentine Valley is famous for its ancient forests, which remain almost completely untouched. There, many Eucalyptus delegatensis trees tower above others, one, in particular, reaching a height of 288 feet.
Also known as Alpine Ash, these trees are slightly smaller than the Eucalyptus regnans variety, but no less awe-inspiring. The Florentine Valley is under threat of deforestation. Some of the trees there are of high value to the timber industry, and Forestry Tasmania has been in an ongoing conflict with conservation groups over the area.
9 Neeminah Loggorale Meena, Tasmania
Neeminah Loggorale Meena is about as tall as its name is long. Standing proudly in the forests of Tasmania, this Tasmanian blue gum tree is currently the tallest of its kind, but in the past, there have been much taller.
Neeminah Loggorale Meena, meaning “mother and daughter” in the native Aboriginal language, stands almost totally isolated in a clear-cut area. Thankfully, its 298-foot height protects it under local Tasmanian Forestry law, which states that any tree taller than 85 meters (278 feet) cannot be cut down.
8 Yellow Meranti, Maliau Basin Conservation Area
Located in Borneo, researchers discovered the world's tallest tropical tree, a yellow meranti reaching a height of 293 feet. The tree was only measured in 2016, and it is currently being studied.
Scientists at the University of Cambridge were studying biodiversity in the Maliau Basin Conservation Area when they made the incredible discovery. Its height was captured first using a 3D scan, and then for more precision, a climber scaled the tree to get its exact height. When it was measured, the researchers found out it was almost as tall as London's Big Ben!
7 White Knight, Evercreech Forest Reserve
This White Knight may not be saving any damsels in distress, but its height is pretty heroic. It gets its name from the white peppermint species, of which it is the tallest example. Its height is just shy of 300 feet, at exactly 299.
You'll see the White Knight among other huge white peppermints and eucalyptus trees in the forests of Tasmania, which is famed for its crazy-tall trees. The White Knight can be visited (and attracts large numbers of dendrophiles) near the town of Mathinna.
6 Unnamed Giant Sequoia, Sequoia National Forest
The giant sequoia is accurately named – these trees are among the biggest in the world, and when you step into a sequoia forest, you'll truly be surrounded by nature's skyscrapers. Although they do grow taller than most species of trees, few are taller than 300 feet.
One giant sequoia in California's Sequoia National Forest, however, reaches the incredible height of 314 feet, but unfortunately, it doesn't yet have a name. If you're planning a trip to nearby Yosemite National Park, be sure to check out the Sequoia National Forest and see these enormous trees.
5 Raven's Tower, Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park
Tallest tree living
Who Hyperion, Sequoia sempervirens, Coast redwood
The tallest tree currently living is Hyperion, which measured 115.85 metres (380 feet 1 inch) as of 2017. This coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) was discovered by Chris Atkins and Michael Taylor (both USA) in the Redwood National Park, California, USA, on 25 August 2006.
The initial measurement read a height of 115.24 metres (378 feet). However, it was measured again by Dr Steve Sillett, Michael Taylor, Chris Atkins and Dr Robert Van Pelt in September 2006 by climbing it and dropping a tapeline, obtaining a height of 115.54 metres (379 feet 8 inches).
Later measurements, such as those taken in 2009 and 2017, confirm that Hyperion is still active and growing.
Remarkably, Hyperion is situated on a hillside (not alluvial flat), 96% of the surrounding area of which has been logged of its original coast redwood growth.
Atkins and Taylor had just earlier (1 July 2006) discovered two other coast redwoods in the same park, both of which also beat the previous holder, Stratosphere Giant. Their initial measurements concluded that: Helios measured 114.69 metres (376 feet 3 inches) and Icarus, 113.
14 metres (371 feet 2 inches). However, in 2009 Helios's height was adjusted to 114.58 metres (375 feet 11 inches), with Icarus's height unchanged.
The exact location of Hyperion is kept in secret to limit visitors and protect the tree from damage.
Hyperion is estimated to be between 600 and 800 years old.
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