There are some unusually tall trees in this world. Take for example the Wax Palm, which can grow to 200 feet tall!
Due to the perfect living environment + being lucky enough to escape being logged, and avoiding hazards such as strong winds and fires, some trees thrive and grow to staggering heights!
This article explores some interesting tree types that deserve to be recognized for their gigantic presence!
1: Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens)
So we will start the list with the tallest ever known tree to grace our planet.
Typically growing anywhere from 60-76 meters (196.85-249.34 feet), the average pales in comparison to the tallest - nicknamed "Hyperion"! Standing in the Redwood national park, California, Hyperion stands at a record-breaking 116 meters (380.57 feet) tall! It is estimated to be between 600-800 years old!
They have a lifespan of up to 2000 years, so this tree has a plentiful amount of time to mature, and maybe add some more height!
2: Eucalyptus Regnans
Otherwise known as mountain ash, this tree is the tallest of all flowering plants, and the 3rd tallest tree currently standing in the world. They typically grow anywhere between 75–115 m (246–377 feet).
The tallest ever measured has been nicknamed "Centurion", and stands over 100.5 meters (330 feet) tall as of 2018, and seems to be still growing!
This tree lives to around 300, but If they are in the right climate and can avoid large bushfires they can live to be 5-600 years old!
3: Giant Sequoia (Sequoiadendron Giganteum)
Often confused with Redwoods (but different), Sequoias are one of the oldest living trees, with some dating back to 3500+ years!
They grow in the region of between 50 - 85 meters (164.04 - 278.87) feet tall, with the tallest ever located in the Giant Forest of Sequoia National Park. Nicknamed "General Sherman", this beast stands at 83.8 meters (274.93 feet) tall, has a 24 meters (78.7 feet) circumference and weighs roughly 2000 tons, and is between 2300-2700 years old!
Although they are shorter on average than Redwoods, they have an average diameter between 7- 8 meters (22.96-26.24 feet) and are considerably bigger in overall volume!
4: Coast Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga Menziessi)
This tree can grow really tall. On average they are the 2nd tallest conifer in the world behind the Coast Redwood, and the 3rd known tallest tree in the world, trailing behind the Eucalyptus Regnans.
The tallest known living tree resides in Coos county, Oregon, measuring 99.76 meters (327.29 feet) high! However, the tallest ever Douglas Fir dwarfs the tallest living. It resided in Lynn valley, Vancouver, measuring 126.5 meters (415 feet)! It was unfortunately cut down 120 years ago in 1902!
These trees commonly live to 500 years old, but under the right circumstances can exceed 1000 years old!
5: Tasmanian Blue Gum (Eucalyptus Globulus Variant)
Found in deep and damp marshy areas such as valleys, the Eucalyptus Globous has 4 different variations of the tree, with the Tasmanian blue gum variant being the tallest - commonly growing in excess of 70 meters (229.65 feet) tall!
They grow at a rate of approximately 2.5 meters (8.20 feet) per year and the tallest current Tasmanian Blue Gum stands at a record-setting 90.7 meters (297.57 feet) tall!
This tree serves as a good source of hard timber suitable for household appliances such as furniture or flooring and also farming shelter.
6: Sugar Pine (Pinus Lambertiana)
The tallest Pine species lives up to 500 years and has one of the largest tree masses. It can grow to heights exceeding 65 meters (213.25) feet and has a trunk diameter of 1.5 meters (5 feet), making it the 2nd bulkiest tree to the giant sequoia. Also, Their pine cones are HUGE, (see pic)
California's Yosemite National Park is home to the tallest ever Sugar Pine, found in 2015 and measuring 83.45 meters (273.78 feet) high. This is slightly taller than the tallest Ponderosa Pine tree in the world.
Its name "Sugar Pine" comes from the sweet sap that exudes from bark wounds. The resiny sap is edible, but only in small quantities, as it has laxative effects, and in the forest, there aren't many toilets nearby!
7: Ponderosa Pine (2nd tallest pine)
Second tallest to the Sugar Pine, but currently holding the record for the tallest pine tree on the planet, the ponderosa pine thrives in its native US forest climate. It can grow in excess of 60 meters (200 feet) and its trunk can grow to 3-4 feet wide.
Recently discovered, the tallest living Ponderosa grows near the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, nicknamed "Phalanx" and measured in at 81.77 meters (268.3 feet) high!
Ponderosa trees don't fully mature until around 150 years old and can live up to 600 years!
8: Dinizia Excelsa
Commonly found in Brazil and Guyana, and named (Angelim Vermelho in Portuguese), these trees are one of the tallest tropical types, commonly reaching in excess of 60 meters (200 feet) high.
The tallest Dinizia was discovered by airborne laser scanning and after took 5 days of boating down the river + walking to find! The effort was worth it, as when discovered it measured in at 88 meters (288.71 feet), which is approximately 30 meters (98.4 feet) in excess of other tall trees in the Amazon!
It also measured 5.50 meters (18 feet) in circumference!
This breed typically lives somewhere between 4-600 years old. , although this is yet to be thoroughly investigated.
9: Shorea Smithiana
Native to Borneo, and Indonesia + Malaysia in Asia, this tree is one of their main timber sources, with bark sometimes used for floor covering, and the timber frequently used for international trading.
They have been known to grow to a height in excess of 65 meters (213.25 feet) tall, and the tallest ever was measured at 82.3 meters (270 feet) in Tawau Hills Park, Borneo!
They have flourished and inhabited rainforests for centuries, but due to their economic use, they are now in danger of falling victim to habitat destruction.
10: Karri Tree (Eucalyptus Diversicolor)
These species of trees inhabit the ancient forests of Western Australia and are one of the tallest flowering plants in the world alongside the Eucalyptus Regnans. This giant commonly grows anywhere between 15–60 m (49.21–196.85 feet) tall.
The tallest in the world, however, standing in Western Australia, is the "Stewart Karri", standing at 85 meters (278.87 feet) high!
This tree lives to around 350 years and as it ages, it sheds its bark leaving distinct multi-colored combinations of pink, brown leading to white.
11: Quindio Wax Palm Tree
The Andean Montane forests are home to the world's largest palm tree, which grows to a grand 60 + meters (196.85 feet) high. Although it has a long, thin trunk it is able to withstand ferocious winds due to the trees make-up of flexible fibers, and a strong root structure.
The reason palms grow so tall is that palms crave sunlight, and this one can't seem to get enough!
This tree is also a "dioecious species" meaning it can be both male or female, with distinct flowers defining both sexes.
What Does a Tree Need to Grow Tall?
How tall a tree will grow is firstly determined by genetics. For example, a weeping willow simply won't grow as tall as a giant redwood.
However each tree needs a certain climate to thrive, and there are factors that influence growth. This includes water, nutrients, and light.
The roots absorb water and nutrients from the soil need to be transported like a pump from the ground up the tree roots/trunk and to the crown of the tree (leaves and branches). In return, the crown undergoes the process of photosynthesis, using sunlight to make sugars that are then transported down the tree to the roots, that is used as food to help the tree to grow.
As trees grow taller the more nutrients and water are needed, and a lack of this often leads to gradual drought and the slowing of growth. Therefore a tree that lives in moist, cooler conditions will have an easier time avoiding drought and taking in vital water + nutrients.
For example, Redwoods in Coastal California live in ideal conditions, taking in a healthy amount of sunlight, nutrients, and water in moist, foggy environments. As a result of the fog they are able to absorb water into their leaves (up to 40% of their absorption), and this slows down the drought process, and therefore they are able to live longer and keep growing closer to their genetic potential.
Lastly, being in moist environments also means avoiding potential hazards such as fires, and can easily allow a tree to live longer and to grow taller. Also, trees compete against each other for resources, so if there is a plentiful amount available, this will help them survive, too.
The bottom line is that most trees will never grow to their full growth potential.
The Tallest Tree That Ever Existed
The tallest ever tree to have been documented in the Guinness World Records was a Mountain Ash (Eucalyptus Regnans) located in Victoria, Australia. Discovered in 1872 by a man named William Ferguson who was trained in forestry, this monumental tree (now deceased) measured in at approximately 133 meters (436.2 feet) high!
There were also reports of other trees in Victoria exceeding 130 meters tall, however, the issue is that this report is 149 years old as of 2021, and all these trees have been logged, making these reports questionable in reliability.
Also, the largest living Mountain ash today nicknamed "Centurion" stands over 100.5 meters (330 feet), which is over 100 feet shorter than the tallest ever measured!
Either way, it is entirely possible these giant trees existed.
The Thickest Tree on Earth
The thickest tree in the world was originally thought to be multiple trees but has since been proven to be a single tree through modern DNA testing. It is a Mexican cypress, located in the town of Santa Maria del Tule, in a churchyard.
This unique specimen is nicknamed "El Árbol del Tule" (Spanish for The Tree of Tule) and has a diameter of 11.62 meters (38.1 feet) and a circumference of 11 meters (36.2 feet). It is also relatively short 35.4 meters (116.1 feet) in height.
This remarkable tree can also be described as wise, and is believed to be more than 1500 years old!
What US State has The Thickest Tree?
The tallest trees in the US are located in the state of California. Specifically, the northern region is home to the Redwood National and State Parks, which measure 60 miles long. Here you will find many giant coast redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens), including the tallest tree in the world, nicknamed "Hyperion", whose exact location is kept secret for the protection of the tree.
These trees are also advanced in age, often between 1-2 thousand years old.