Until August 2006, the title " the highest tree in the world " belonged to a giant 112.7-meter sequoia nicknamed the "stratospheric giant."She is in the Humboldt National Park in California. To give you some idea of the massive size of this tree, let's say that it is twice the Statue of Liberty, minus the foundation.
But the giant lost its status when two naturalists, Chris Atkins and Michael Taylor, stumbled into the Redwood National Park in California on a group of trees that were higher than any of those they had seen before. They made preliminary measurements using professional laser equipment, and found not one, not two, but three trees that were higher than the "stratospheric giant."
Hyperion means "very high"
The height of the tallest tree, called Hyperion, is 115 meters .If you do not know how big Hyperion is, then imagine: the height of Big Ben in London is 96.3 m, that is, it is much lower than this tree.
This gigantic mahogany( sequoia) would be even higher if it were not for woodpeckers that damaged the very tip of the trunk. This slowed the progress of Hyperion skyward.
When Atkins and Taylor announced their discovery, a team of scientists led by ecologist Steve Sillett from the Humboldt State University arrived in the park to measure the find.
This was done in the most accurate way: Sillett climbed to the top of the tree to pull the tape from there straight to the ground. The release of this tape was filmed for National Geographic.
Hyperion is very lucky: in the 70 years of the 20th century, only a few hundred kilometers from it was a continuous felling of trees. About two weeks before the person with the Hyperion approached a man with a saw, the Redwood Valley turned into the Redwood National Park. Logging companies feared that this would happen, and worked 24/7, harvesting valuable mahogany wood and ruthlessly destroying old-growth forests that were there long before people entered the valley. Most of the sequoia, from which the tallest trees grow, were less fortunate than Hyperion. By now, only 4% of mahogany forests have been preserved in America.
In accordance with the standards for mahogany Hyperion is quite young and continues to grow. Sillett believes that the tree turned "just" 600 years old , which is about 20 years by human standards.
The exact location of Hyperion is kept secret by the caretakers of the park, in order to avoid a tourist crush near the tree. This can disrupt the delicate balance of the forest ecosystem and harm the tree. After all, tourists can not only admire the huge tree, but also to chop off a part of the bark "for memory" or scratch on it something in the style of "here were Jack and Sally".
As Sillett put it, trees can not as people escape from the paparazzi, and history teaches us that bad things happen to trees that have become too popular.
It is completely unclear whether Hyperion is the highest of the red trees or just the largest known to us by the sequo. After all, 96% of the sequestered forests became victims of loggers.
The highest tree ever measured
The tallest tree in the world that was measured in the 19th century is not a sequoia, but a mountain ash.
- In 1872, the report of the Australian State Forest Inspector William Ferguson mentions the fallen and scorched eucalyptus regal( he also Eucalyptus regnans, who is also mountain ash), who during his lifetime had a height of at least 132 meters .
- Around the same time several instances of 140 m high were registered. Alas, we can not test these measurements: all these trees were cut. Rowan was and is an important building material in Australia.
The highest of the living eucalyptus can be found in Tasmania. The height of the eucalyptus, bearing the proud nickname "Centurion" is about 100 meters. This is the tallest living deciduous tree on Earth . It was discovered in October 2008 using a laser installed on an airplane, which used to measure the altitude of a site, the height of a forest and forest biomass.
How high can a tree be
In an article titled "Investigating the limits of maximum tree growth," Jonathan Amos of the BBC's research department claims that the maximum tree height can be about 130 meters .
When the tree reaches this mark, it will pump less and less water and nutrients. They just will not be enough for a new growth.
There is no living tree in the world that would have grown to 130 meters.