List of superlative trees
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 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. 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 table shows only currently standing specimens:
|Coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens)||115.92||380.3||Hyperion||Redwood National Park, California, United States|||
|Mountain ash (Eucalyptus regnans)||99.82||327.5||Centurion||Arve Valley, Tasmania, Australia|||
|Coast Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii var. menziesii)||99.7||327||Doerner Fir||Brummit Creek, Coos County, Oregon, United States|||
|Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis)||96.7||317||Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, California, United States|||
|Giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum)||95.7||314||Sequoia National Forest, California, United States|||
|Yellow meranti (Shorea faguetiana)||94.1||309||Danum Valley Conservation Area, in Sabah on the island of Borneo|||
|Manna gum (Eucalyptus viminalis)||91||299||White Knight||Evercreech Forest Reserve, Tasmania, Australia|||
|Southern blue gum (Eucalyptus globulus)||90.7||298||Tasmania, Australia|||
|Alpine ash (Eucalyptus delegatensis)||87.9||288||Tasmania, Australia|||
|Brown top stringbark (Eucalyptus obliqua)||86||282||King Stringy||Tasmania, Australia.|||
|Mengaris (Koompassia excelsa)||85.76||281.4||Tawau Hills National Park, in Sabah on the island of Borneo|||
|Shorea argentifolia||84.85||278.4||Gaharu ridge of Tawau Hills National Park, in Sabah on the island of Borneo.|||
|Shorea superba||84.41||276.9||Gergassi Ridge of Tawau Hills National Park, in Sabah on the island of Borneo.|||
|Shining gum (Eucalyptus nitens)||84.3||277||O'Shannassy Catchment, Victoria, Australia.|||
|Sugar pine (Pinus lambertiana)||83.45||273.8||near Yosemite National Park, California, United States.|||
|Western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla)||83.34||273.4||was discovered in November 2014 by Mario Vaden and Chris Atkins in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, California, United States.|||
|Hopea nutans||82.82||271.7||Gaharu ridge of Tawau Hills National Park, in Sabah on the island of Borneo.|||
|Shorea johorensis||82.39||270.3||Coco-Park boundary of Tawau Hills National Park, in Sabah on the island of Borneo.|||
|Shorea smithiana||82.27||269.9||Coco-Park boundary of Tawau Hills National Park, in Sabah on the island of Borneo.|||
|Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa)||81.77||268.3||in Myers Creek drainage of Rogue River – Siskiyou National Forest, Oregon, United States.|||
|Entandrophragma excelsum||81.5||267||at Kilimanjaro, Tanzania|||
|Sydney blue gum (Eucalyptus saligna)||81.5||267||Woodbush State Forest, Magoebaskloof, Limpopo, South Africa. The world's tallest planted tree.|||
|Grand fir (Abies grandis)||81.4||267||in the Glacier Peak Wilderness, Washington, United States.|||
|Shorea gibbosa||81.11||266.1||River Flats of Tawau Hills National Park, in Sabah on the island of Borneo.|||
|Lawson cypress (Chamaecyparis lawsoniana)||81.08||266.0||In Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, California, United States.|||
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.
|Species||Trunk volume||Tree name||Location||References|
|Cubic Meters||Cubic Feet|
|Giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum)||1,487||52,500||General Sherman||Sequoia National Park|||
|Coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens)||1,084.5||38,300||Grogan's Fault||Redwood National Park|||
|Kauri (Agathis australis)||516||18,200||Tāne Mahuta||Waipoua Forest, New Zealand|||
|Western redcedar (Thuja plicata)||449||15,900||Cheewhat Giant||British Columbia, Canada||:34|
|Eucalyptus regnans||391||13,800||Still Sorrow|||
|Tasmanian blue gum (Eucalyptus globulus)||368||13,000||Rullah Longatyle||Tasmania|||
|Coast Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii)||349||12,300||Red Creek Fir||British Columbia, Canada|||
|Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis)||337||11,900||Queets Spruce||:58|
|Eucalyptus obliqua||337||11,900||Gothmog||Styx Tall Trees FP, Tasmania|||
|Eucalyptus delegatensis||286||10,100||Styx River Valley|||
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".
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. Breast height is defined differently in different situations, with most forestry measurements taking girth at 1.3 m above ground, while those who measure ornamental trees usually measure at 1.5 m above ground; 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, 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. 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. 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%), reaching maximum at the end of the rainy season, and minimum at the end of the dry season.
|Species||Diameter||Tree name||Location||Notes and References|
|Montezuma cypress (Taxodium mucronatum)||11.62||38.1||Árbol del Tule||Santa Maria del Tule, Oaxaca, Mexico||This diameter includes buttressing. A more accurate mean diameter for this tree is 9.38 m (30.8 ft).|
|Baobab (Adansonia digitata):||10.64||34.9||Sunland Baobab||Sunland Farm, Limpopo, South Africa||Renowned because a bar and wine cellar operates inside its hollow trunk.|
|Coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens)||8.90||29.2||Jupiter||Redwood National Park, California, United States|||
|Giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum)||8.85||29.0||General Grant||General Grant Grove, California, United States|||
|Za (Adansonia za)||8.85||29.0||The Ampanihy Baobab||North of Morombe, southwest Madagascar|||
|Chinese camphor tree (Cinnamomum camphora)||8.23||27.0||Kamou no Okusu||Kamou, Kagoshima, Japan|||
|Eucalyptus obliqua||6.72||22.0|||
|Eucalyptus regnans||6.52||21.4||Big Foot||Geeveston, Tasmania|||
|Western redcedar (Thuja plicata)||5.94||19.5||Quinault Lake Cedar||Olympic National Park||:181|
|Eucalyptus delegatensis||5.82||19.1||Troll||Hermons Road, Tasmania, Australia|||
|Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis)||5.39||17.7||Quinault Lake Spruce||Olympic National Park|||
|Kauri (Agathis australis)||5.33||17.5||Te Matua Ngahere||Waipoua Forest, New Zealand|||
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. 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.
The trees with the broadest crowns have the widest spread of limbs from a single trunk.
|Species||Diameter||Tree name||Location||Notes and References|
|Coolibah (Eucalyptus microtheca)||72.8||239||Monkira Monster||Neuragully Waterhole, southwestern Queensland, Australia|||
|Oriental plane (Platanus orientalis)||64.0||210||Oriental Plane Tree at Corsham Court||Wiltshire, England.|||
|Raintree or monkeypod tree (Samanea saman)||63.1||207||Saman de Guere||San Mateo, Aragua State, Venezuela|||
|Silk-cotton tree (Ceiba pentandra)||61.3||201||The Big Tree||Barro Colorado Island, Panama|||
|European yew (Taxus baccata)||55.5||182||Shugborough Yew||Shugborough Hall, Staffordshire, England|||
|Sand post oak (Quercus stellata margarettae)||55.2||181||Gilchrist County, Florida|||
|Turkey oak (Quercus cerris):||53.9||177||Devon, England.|||
|Moreton Bay fig (Ficus macrophylla)||53.6||176||Moreton Bay Fig Tree||Chapala Street in Santa Barbara, California.|||
|Scarlet Oak (Quercus coccinea)||53.6||176||<name not given>||Middlesboro, Kentucky|||
|Coast live oak (Quercus agrifolia)||53.6||176||The Pechanga Great Oak||Pechanga Native American Reservation east of Temecula, California.|| |
|Montezuma cypress (Taxodium mucronatum)||53.3||175||El Gigante||Santa Maria del Tule, Oaxaca, Mexico|||
|Blackbutt (Eucalyptus pilularis)||51.8||170||Benaroon||John's River in Middle Brother National Park, New South Wales, Australia.|||
|Live oak (Quercus virginiana)||51.8||170||The E. O. Hunt Oak||Long Beach, Mississippi|||
|American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis)||51.5||169||The Lansdowne Sycamore||Lansdowne, Pennsylvania|||
|African Baobab (Adansonia digitata)||51.2||168||The Glencoe Tree||Huidespruit, Limpopo Province, South Africa.||Now severely damaged|
|Batai (Albizzia falcata)||50.9||167||Hawai'i|||
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) 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:
|Species||Age||Tree name||Location||Notes and References|
|Great Basin bristlecone pine (Pinus longaeva)||5,067 years||Inyo County, California|||
|Alerce (Fitzroya cupressoides)||3,647 years||Gran Abuelo||Cordillera Pelada, Chile|||
|Giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum)||3,266 years||Sierra Nevada, California||Dead|
|Western juniper (Juniperus occidentalis)||2,675 years||Sierra Nevada, California||Dead|
|Rocky Mountain Bristlecone Pine (Pinus aristata)||2,460 years||central Colorado|||
|Sacred fig (Ficus religiosa)||2,302 years||Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka|||
|Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens)||2,200 years||northern California||Dead|
Other species suspected of reaching exceptional age include European Yew (Taxus baccata) (probably over 2,000 years), Sugi (Cryptomeria japonica) (3,000 years or more), 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.
The olive tree also can live for centuries. The oldest verified age is 900 years 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.
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.
Deepest and longest tree rootsEdit
A wild fig tree growing in Echo Caves near Ohrigstad, South Africa has roots going 120 m (400 ft) deep, giving it the deepest roots known of any tree. El Drago Milenario, a tree of species Dracaena draco on Tenerife, Canary Islands, is reported to have 200-metre-long (660 ft) aerial roots.
Thickest tree limbsEdit
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]
|Species||Diameter||Tree name||Location||Notes and References|
|Giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum)||3.8||12.6||The Big Limb Tree||Atwell Mills Grove, Sequoia National Park, California.|||
|Za (Adansonia za):||2.7||9||The Ampanihy Baobab||north of Morombe, Madagascar.|||
|African baobab (Adansonia digitata)||2.4||8||The Big Tree||Messina Nature Reserve, Limpopo Province, South Africa.|||
|Coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens)||2.1||7||Kronos||Atlas Grove, Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park.|||
|Kauri (Agathis australis )||2.1||7||Nga Mahangahua||Tutamoe State Forest, North Island, New Zealand|||
|The White oak, (Quercus alba)||1.8||6||The Wye Oak||Wye Mills, Maryland||Died June 6, 2002|
|Kapok or Silk Cotton Tree (Ceiba pentandra)||1.8||6|||
|Canary Island Dragon Tree (Dracaena draco)||1.75||5.75||The Orotava Tree||Orotava, Tenerife, Canary Islands||Died October 1869|
|Moreton Bay Fig (Ficus macrophylla)||1.7||5.5||Sydney Botanical Gardens, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia|| |
|Silver Fir ( Abies alba )||1.7||5.5||Sabin Candelabre||Jura Alps of France, near the Swiss border.|||
Trees bearing the largest flowersEdit
|Species and Family||Where native?||Largest of kind.||Comments|
|Guyana Chestnut, or Provision Tree (Pachira aquatica) Bombacaceae.||Central America, northern South America and the West Indies.||Up to 26 inches (66 cm) if the thirteen inch (33 cm) pale yellow petals are held outright.||The stamens are united into a column in the lower third, divided into five sub-groups in the middle third, and into several hundred individual stamens in the upper third.|
|Cacao Sauvage (Pachira insigna) (Bombacaceae)||Along brackish estuaries of South America and the Lesser Antilles.||Its 13 inch (33 cm) pink petals also are 26 inches (66 cm) wide if held horizontally.  Fayaz says the petals can be 14 inches (35 cm) long, and therefore a 28 inch (71 cm) diameter.||This is a much taller tree than P. aquatica, up to one hundred feet (30 meters) in height.|
|Big Leaf Magnolia, or Big Bloom (Magnolia macrophylla) (Magnoliaceae)||The deep southern United States, especially Alabama and Mississippi, but excluding Florida.||The largest on record was 21.5 inches (54.6 cm) in width, while another found and photographed by Adele Sayle was twenty inches (51 cm) wide.||Magnolias are pollinated by flower beetles.|
|Giant White Angel's Trumpet (Brugmansia versicolor) (Solanaceae)||Northern Guayaquil River Basin of Ecuador.||Pendant white or cream trumpet-like flowers up to twenty inches (51 centimeters) long and up to eight inches (20 centimeters) wide at the mouth. ||At 16.4 feet (five meters) height, this is the smallest tree in this table. The pollinator is unknown , but would seem to require a very long tongue or beak.|
|Magnolia dealbata (Magnoliaceae)||The humid regions of Mexico.||Up to 16 inches (40.6 cm) in diameter.||Considered by some taxonomists to be a subspecies of M. macrophylla.|
|Mandacaru (Cereus jamacaru) (Cactaceae)||The Caatinga region of N.E.ern Brazil. Also naturalized to South Africa.||Up to 12 inches (30 cm) long by up to 8 inches (20 cm) wide.||One of the largest tree-cacti at up to 59 feet (18 meters) in height, 33 feet (ten meters) crown spread and up to 39 inch (one meter) thick trunk. It can bear spines up to 7.5 inches (19 cm) long. By reason of its succulence, these may be the most massive (heaviest) of all tree flowers.|
|Calabash Nutmeg (Monodora myristica)(Annonaceae)||Native to tropical Africa.||Ornate, multicolor flower up to 10 inches (25 centimeters) in width. ||The name comes from the six inch (15 cm) calabash-like fruit filled with fragrant seeds.|
|The Elephant Apple (Dillenia indica) Dilleniaceae||Native to India, Burma, Southeast Asia and the East Indies.||The eight inch (20 cm) wide flower consists of five large (2 to 2.5 inch or 5 to 7 cm) roundish, fleshy white petals, two concentric circles of several hundred stamens surrounding a circle of up to twenty stigmas.  ||Forms a fruit up to 6 in. (15 cm) in diameter.|
- List of trees
- Lists of trees
- List of old-growth forests
- List of notable trees
- List of tree genera
- List of trees and shrubs by taxonomic family
- List of world records held by plants
- Tree allometry
- Tree crown measurement
- Tree girth measurement
- Tree height measurement
- Tree measurement
- Tree volume measurement
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- Notable and Ancient Trees in Britain and Ireland
- Monumental trees
- M. D. Vaden, arborist who measures tree sizes
- Calaveras Big Trees Association (CBTA)
- Tasmania's giant trees
- National Register of Big Trees. Australia's Champion Trees
- The New Zealand Tree Register - A project of the New Zealand Notable Trees Trust (NZNTT)
- Old Trees in The Netherlands and Western Europe
- Photo Tours: Science Atop the World's Largest Trees
- article about The Senator