For those of us who love the woods, trees are a constant source of wonder. The forest giants can tower over you wherever you are, but the trees in certain parts of the world absolutely dwarf the rest.
Some of the tallest trees on Earth can be found in the inaccessible tropics of Borneo and the ancient forests of Tasmania. Europe’s tallest trees are over 20 stories high but are all non-native species from wilder parts of the world.
And none of these can match the stately grandeur and cathedral awe of the old-growth redwood and sequoia forests on the California coast — the ancient kings of the forest.
These trees are genuine giants. The grandfather of them all, a magnificent coast redwood called Hyperion, stands a full 20m higher than London’s Big Ben or the Statue of Liberty in New York. It’s hard to grasp the true scale of these towering titans, but hopefully this infographic can help our tiny human minds comprehend the enormity of these trees.
You can see a high-res version of this infographic here.
Its exact location is a closely guarded secret, but we know that Hyperion is a coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) in Redwood National Park, California. The tallest tree of all was only discovered in 2006, by naturalists Chris Atkins and Michael Taylor. It was later climbed by Stephen Sillett, who dropped a tape measure from the top and recorded Hyperion’s official height as 115.55m, taller than any other tree on the planet.
Hyperion is already somewhere between 600–800 years old and still growing. Barring damage from wind or woodpeckers, it should keep doing so for centuries to come.
Other exceptionally tall redwoods are currently shorter than Hyperion but growing at a faster rate. So while Hyperion holds the crown for now, it’s likely to be overtaken in the next few decades. It will therefore probably be a different tree that breaks the 400 foot…