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View of the General Sherman tree from below. The General Sherman tree is largest by volume: this view exaggerates apparent height

The world's superlative trees can be ranked by any factor. Records have been kept for trees with superlative height, trunk diameter or girth, canopy coverage, airspace volume, wood volume, estimated mass, and age.



The coniferous Coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) is the tallest tree species on earth.

The heights of the tallest trees in the world have been the subject of considerable dispute and much exaggeration. Modern verified measurements with laser rangefinders or with tape drop measurements made by tree climbers (such as those carried out by canopy researchers), have shown that some older tree height measurement methods are often unreliable, sometimes producing exaggerations of 5% to 15% or more above the real height.[1] Historical claims of trees growing to 130 m (430 ft), and even 150 m (490 ft), are now largely disregarded as unreliable, and attributed to human error.

The following are the tallest reliably measured specimens from the top species. This list shows only currently standing specimens:

  1. Coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens): 115.92 m (380.3 ft), "Hyperion", Redwood National Park, California, United States.[2][3]
  2. Mountain ash (Eucalyptus regnans): 99.82 m (327.5 ft), "Centurion", Arve Valley, Tasmania, Australia[4][5][6]
  3. Coast Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii var. menziesii): 99.7 m (327 ft), Doerner Fir, Brummit Creek, Coos County, Oregon, United States[7][8][9]
  4. Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis): 96.7 m (317 ft), Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, California, United States[10][11]
  5. Giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum): 95.7 m (314 ft), Sequoia National Forest, California, United States[12][13]
  6. Yellow meranti (Shorea faguetiana): 93.0 m (305.1 ft), Danum Valley Conservation Area, in Sabah on the island of Borneo[14][15]
  7. Manna gum (Eucalyptus viminalis): 91 m (299 ft), "White Knight", Evercreech Forest Reserve, Tasmania, Australia[16]
  8. Southern blue gum (Eucalyptus globulus): 90.7 m (298 ft), Tasmania, Australia[17]
  9. Alpine ash (Eucalyptus delegatensis): 87.9 m (288 ft), Tasmania, Australia[17]
  10. Brown top stringbark (Eucalyptus obliqua): 86 m (282 ft) "King Stringy", Tasmania, Australia.[18]
  11. Noble fir (Abies procera): 86 m (282 ft), Goat Marsh Research Natural Area, Washington, United States.[19]
  12. Mengaris (Koompassia excelsa): 85.76 m (281.4 ft) Tawau Hills National Park, in Sabah on the island of Borneo[20][21]
  13. Shorea argentifolia: 84.85 m (278.4 ft) Gaharu ridge of Tawau Hills National Park, in Sabah on the island of Borneo.[20][21]
  14. Shorea superba: 84.41 m (276.9 ft) Gergassi Ridge of Tawau Hills National Park, in Sabah on the island of Borneo.[20][21]
  15. Shining gum (Eucalyptus nitens): 84.3 m (277 ft), O'Shannassy Catchment, Victoria, Australia.[22]
  16. Sugar pine (Pinus lambertiana): 83.45 m (273.8 ft) near Yosemite National Park, California, United States.[23]
  17. Western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla): 83.34 m (273.4 ft) was discovered in November 2014 by Mario Vaden and Chris Atkins in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, California, United States.[24]
  18. Hopea nutans: 82.82 m (271.7 ft) Gaharu ridge of Tawau Hills National Park, in Sabah on the island of Borneo.[20][21]
  19. Shorea johorensis: 82.39 m (270.3 ft) Coco-Park boundary of Tawau Hills National Park, in Sabah on the island of Borneo.[20][21]
  20. Shorea smithiana: 82.27 m (269.9 ft) Coco-Park boundary of Tawau Hills National Park, in Sabah on the island of Borneo.[20][21]
  21. Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa): 81.77 m (268.3 ft) in Myers Creek drainage of Rogue River – Siskiyou National Forest, Oregon, United States.[25][26]
  22. Entandrophragma excelsum: 81.5 m (267 ft) at Kilimanjaro, Tanzania [27]
  23. Sydney blue gum (Eucalyptus saligna): 81.5 m (267 ft) Woodbush State Forest, Magoebaskloof, Limpopo, South Africa. The world's tallest planted tree.[28][29]
  24. Grand fir (Abies grandis): 81.4 m (267 ft) in the Glacier Peak Wilderness, Washington, United States.[30]
  25. Shorea gibbosa: 81.11 m (266.1 ft) River Flats of Tawau Hills National Park, in Sabah on the island of Borneo.[20][21]
  26. Lawson cypress (Chamaecyparis lawsoniana): 81.08 m (266.0 ft), In Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, California, United States.[31]


A wild fig tree growing in Echo Caves near Ohrigstad, South Africa has roots going 121.92 m (400.0 ft) deep, giving it the deepest roots known of any tree.[32]


The largest trees are defined as having the highest wood volume in a single-stem. These trees are both tall and large in diameter and, in particular, hold a large diameter high up the trunk. Measurement is very complex, particularly if branch volume is to be included as well as the trunk volume, so measurements have only been made for a small number of trees, and generally only for the trunk. Few attempts have ever been made to include root or leaf volume.

The top eleven species measured so far are*:

  1. Giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum): 1,487 m³ (52,508 cu ft), General Sherman[33] Sequoia National Park
  2. Coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens): 1,170.2 m³ (41,324 cu ft), Grogan's Fault[34]
  3. Montezuma cypress (Taxodium mucronatum): 750 m³ (25,000 cu ft), Árbol del Tule[35]
  4. Kauri (Agathis australis) : 516 m³ (18,222 cu ft), Tāne Mahuta, Waipoua Forest, New Zealand[36]
  5. Western redcedar (Thuja plicata): 15,870 cubic feet (449 m3), Cheewhat Giant, BC, Canada[37]
  6. Eucalyptus regnans: 391 m³ (13,808 cu ft), Still Sorrow[5]
  7. Tasmanian blue gum (Eucalyptus globulus): 368 m³ (13,000 cu ft), Rullah Longatyle (Strong Girl, also Grieving Giant)[17]
  8. Coast Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) 349 m³ (12,320 cu ft) Red Creek Fir, BC, Canada[38]
  9. Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) 337 m³ (11,920 cu ft) Queets Spruce[39]
  10. Eucalyptus obliqua: 337 m³ (11,920 cu ft) "Gothmog," Styx Tall Trees FP, Tasmania.[17]
  11. Eucalyptus delegatensis: 286 m³ (10,100 cu ft), located in Styx River Valley[17]

(*)This list does not take into account specimens no longer living.


The girth of a tree is usually much easier to measure than the height, as it is a simple matter of stretching a tape round the trunk, and pulling it taut to find the circumference. Despite this, UK tree author Alan Mitchell made the following comment about measurements of yew trees:

The aberrations of past measurements of yews are beyond belief. For example, the tree at Tisbury has a well-defined, clean, if irregular bole at least 1.5 m long. It has been found to have a girth that dilated and shrunk in the following way: 11.28 m (1834 Loudon), 9.3 m (1892 Lowe), 10.67 m (1903 Elwes and Henry), 9.0 m (1924 E. Swanton), 9.45 m (1959 Mitchell) ... Earlier measurements have therefore been omitted.

— Alan Mitchell; in a handbook "Conifers in the British Isles".[40]

As a general standard, tree girth is taken at "breast height". This is converted to and cited as dbh (diameter at breast height) in tree and forestry literature.[41][42] Breast height is defined differently in different situations, with most forestry measurements taking girth at 1.3 m above ground,[42] while those who measure ornamental trees usually measure at 1.5 m above ground;[41] in most cases this makes little difference to the measured girth. On sloping ground, the "above ground" reference point is usually taken as the highest point on the ground touching the trunk,[41][42] but in North America a point, that is the average of the highest point and the lowest point the tree trunk appears to contact the soil, is usually used.[43] Some of the inflated old measurements may have been taken at ground level. Some past exaggerated measurements also result from measuring the complete next-to-bark measurement, pushing the tape in and out over every crevice and buttress.[40] The measurements could also be influenced by deviation of the tape measure from a horizontal plane (which might seem called for if the trunk does not grow straight up), and the presence of features such as branches, spikes, etc.

Modern trends are to cite the tree's diameter rather than the circumference. The diameter of the tree is calculated by finding the mean diameter of the trunk, in most cases obtained by dividing the measured circumference by π; this assumes the trunk is mostly circular in cross-section (an oval or irregular cross-section would result in a mean diameter slightly greater than the assumed circle). Accurately measuring circumference or diameter is difficult in species with the large buttresses that are characteristic of many species of rainforest trees. Simple measurement of circumference of such trees can be misleading when the circumference includes much empty space between buttresses. See also Tree girth measurement

Baobabs (genus Adansonia) store large amounts of water in the very soft wood in their trunks. This leads to marked variation in their girth over the year (though not more than about 2.5%[44]), reaching maximum at the end of the rainy season, and minimum at the end of the dry season.

The stoutest living single-trunk species in diameter are:

  1. Montezuma cypress (Taxodium mucronatum): 11.62 m (38.1 ft), "Árbol del Tule", Santa Maria del Tule, Oaxaca, Mexico.[45] This diameter includes buttressing. A more accurate mean diameter for this tree is 9.38 m (30.8 ft).[45]
  2. Baobab (Adansonia digitata): 10.64 m (34.9 ft), "Sunland Baobab", South Africa. Renowned because a bar and wine cellar operates inside its hollow trunk.
  3. Coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens): 8.90 m (29.2 ft), "Jupiter", Redwood National Park, California, United States[46][47]
  4. Giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum): 8.85 m (29.0 ft), "General Grant", General Grant Grove, California, United States[48]
  5. Za (Adansonia za): 8.85 m (29.0 ft),"The Ampanihy Baobab", North of Morombe, S.W. Madagascar,[49]
  6. Chinese camphor tree (Cinnamomum camphora) 8.23 m (27.0 ft),"Kamou no Okusu", Kamou, Kagoshima, Japan.[50][51]
  7. Eucalyptus obliqua: 6.72 m (22.0 ft)
  8. Eucalyptus regnans: 6.52 m (21.4 ft), "Big Foot", Geeveston, Tasmania
  9. Western redcedar (Thuja plicata): 5.94 m (19.5 ft), "Quinault Lake Cedar", Olympic National Park[52]
  10. Eucalyptus delegatensis: 5.82 m (19.1 ft), "Troll", Hermons Road, Tasmania, Australia.
  11. Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis): 5.39 m (17.7 ft), "Quinault Lake Spruce", Olympic National Park
  12. Kauri (Agathis australis): 5.33 m (17.5 ft), "Te Matua Ngahere", Waipoua Forest, New Zealand[53]

Measurements become ambiguous when multiple trunks (whether from an individual tree or multiple trees) grow together. The Sacred Fig grows adventitious roots from its branches, which become new trunks when the root reaches the ground and thickens; a single sacred fig tree can have hundreds of such trunks.[54] The multi-stemmed Hundred Horse Chestnut was known to have a circumference of 57.9 m (190 ft) when it was measured in 1780.

There are known more than 50 species of trees exceeding the diameter of 4.45 m or circumference of 14 m.[citation needed]


The trees with the broadest crowns have the widest spread of limbs from a single trunk.

  1. Coolibah (Eucalyptus microtheca): 239 feet (72.85 meters), "Monkira Monster", Neuragully Waterhole, southwestern Queensland, Australia.[55][56]
  2. Oriental plane (Platanus orientalis): 210 feet (64 meters) , "The Oriental Plane Tree at Corsham Court", Wiltshire, England.[57]
  3. Raintree or monkeypod tree (Samanea saman): 207 feet (63.09 meters) in 1857,"Saman de Guere", San Mateo, Aragua State, Venezuela.[58]
  4. Silk-cotton tree (Ceiba pentandra): 201 feet (61.26 meters), "The Big Tree", Barro Colorado Island, Panama.[59]
  5. Moreton Bay fig (Ficus macrophylla): 198 feet (60.35 meters) Moreton Bay Fig Tree (Santa Barbara, California), on Chapala Street in Santa Barbara, California.
  6. European yew (Taxus baccata): 182' 9" (55.70 meters) "Shugborough Yew", Shugborough Hall, Staffordshire, England. [60] [61]
  7. Sand post oak (Quercus stellata margarettae): 181 feet (55.17 meters)[no name given], Gilchrist County, Florida.[62]
  8. Turkey oak (Quercus cerris): 177 feet (53.94 meters) [No name given], Devonshire, England.[63]
  9. Coast live oak (Quercus agrifolia): 176 feet (53.64 meters) "The Pechanga Great Oak", The Pechanga Native American Reservation east of Temecula, California.[64]
  10. Montezuma cypress (Taxodium mucronatum): 175 feet (53.34 meters) "El Gigante", Santa Maria del Tule, Oaxaca, Mexico.[65]
  11. Blackbutt (Eucalyptus pilularis): 170.6 feet (52 meters) "Benaroon", along John's River in Middle Brother National Park, New South Wales, Australia. [66]
  12. Live oak (Quercus virginiana); 170 feet (51.82 meters) "The E. O. Hunt Oak" , Long Beach, Mississippi.[67]
  13. American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis): 169 feet (51.51   meters) "The Lansdowne Sycamore", Near Lansdowne, Pennsylvania.[68]
  14. African Baobab (Adansonia digitata): 168 feet (51.21  meters) "The Glencoe Tree" in Huidespruit, Limpopo Province, South Africa. Now severely damaged. [69]
  15. Batai (Albizzia falcata): 167 feet (50.9 meters) No name given, Grown in Hawai'i [70][71]


Great Basin bristlecone pine (Pinus longaeva) is the longest living tree species on earth.

The oldest trees are determined by growth rings, which can be seen if the tree is cut down, or in cores taken from the bark to the center of the tree. Accurate determination is only possible for trees that produce growth rings, generally those in seasonal climates. Trees in uniform non-seasonal tropical climates grow continuously and do not have distinct growth rings. It is also only possible for trees that are solid to the center. Many very old trees become hollow as the dead heartwood decays. For some of these species, age estimates have been made on the basis of extrapolating current growth rates, but the results are usually largely speculation. White (1998)[72] proposes a method of estimating the age of large and veteran trees in the United Kingdom through the correlation of a tree's age with its diameter and growth character.

The verified oldest measured ages are:

  1. Great Basin bristlecone pine (Pinus longaeva): 5,067 years[73]
  2. Alerce (Fitzroya cupressoides): 3,646 years[74]
  3. Giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum): 3,266 years[73]
  4. Western juniper (Juniperus occidentalis): 2,675 years[73]

Other species suspected of reaching exceptional age include European Yew (Taxus baccata) (probably over 2,000 years[75][76]), Sugi (Cryptomeria japonica) (3,000 years or more[77]), and Western Redcedar (Thuja plicata). The oldest known European Yew may be the Llangernyw Yew in the Churchyard of Llangernyw village in North Wales, or the Fortingall Yew in Perthshire, Scotland. These yews may be from 1,500 to 3,000 years old.[78]

The olive tree also can live for centuries. The oldest verified age is 900 years[79] at Gethsemane (Mount of Olives, as mentioned in the Bible), while several other olive trees are suspected of being 2,000 to 3,000 years old.[80]

The pond cypress, Taxodium ascendens, has been known to live more than 1,000 years. One specimen in particular, named "The Senator", was estimated to be more than 3,400 years old at the time of its demise in early 2012.

Thickest Tree LimbEdit

This list is limited to horizontal or nearly horizontal limbs, in which the governing growth factor is phototropism. Vertical or near vertical limbs, in which the governing growth factor is negative geotropism, are called "reiterations" and are really divisions of the trunk, which by definition must be less than the trunk as a whole and therefore less remarkable. The thickest trunks have already been dealt with under "stoutest".[clarification needed]

  1. Giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum): 12.6 feet (3.84 meters) "The Big Limb Tree", Atwell Mills Grove, Sequoia National Park, California.[81]
  2. Za (Adansonia za): nine feet (2.74 meters) "The Ampanihy Baobab", north of Morombe, Madagascar.[82]
  3. African baobab (Adansonia digitata): eight feet (2.44 meters) "The Big Tree", Messina Nature Reserve, Limpopo Province, South Africa.[83] [84]
  4. Coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens): seven feet (2.13 meters) "Kronos", The Atlas Grove, Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park.[85]
  5. Kauri (Agathis australis ):seven feet (2.13  meters) "Nga Mahangahua", Tutamoe State Forest, North Island, New Zealand [86]
  6. The White oak, (Quercus alba): six feet (1.83  meters) "The Wye Oak", formerly of Wye Mills, Maryland. Died June 6, 2002. [87]
  7. The Kapok or Silk Cotton Tree (Ceiba pentandra): six feet (1.83  meters) <No individual specified> of Pantropical distribution.[88]
  8. Canary Island Dragon Tree (Dracaena draco): 5.75 feet (1.75  meters). "The Orotava Tree" formerly of Orotava, Tenerife, Canary Islands. Died October 1869. [89]
  9. Moreton Bay Fig (Ficus macrophylla): 5.5 feet (1.68 meters) The largest specimen at the Sydney Botanical Gardens, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. [90]
  10. Silver Fir ( Abies alba ): 5.5 feet (1.68 meters) The "Sabin Candelabre" in the Jura Alps of France, near the Swiss border. [91] [92]

See alsoEdit


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