Tallest Trees in the World

Tallest trees in the world

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With some trees in the world reaching heights not far off 400 feet (122 meters), it goes to show how amazing nature can be, especially when you consider that all trees start the same; from a tiny seed. But how do these trees get so large?

What Factors Can Affect Tree Growth?

What factors can affect tree growth?

Trees start their lives as seeds which may often lay dormant for some time before they germinate. But once this process begins, the action above and below the ground is pretty impressive. There are several things that a tree needs to grow, and I’ll discuss some of the most important below.

However, do keep in mind that there is a limit on how large any particular species can grow with some being relatively small and others developing into giants.

Soil Nutrients

What we see above the ground is only part of the tree; there’s a lot going on beneath the soil. This is where you’ll find the roots and most trees have a tap root that can be as long as the trunk as well as lateral roots that could spread as wide as three times the width of the crown. These roots are used to absorb nutrients from the soil.

However, not all trees are suited to all soil types, which is why, when planting a tree, you consider its compatibility with the type of soil you have.

Some soils are clay based, while others are sandy, and the pH level of the soil can vary greatly between locations. Moreover, nutrients in the soil, such as nitrogen, are not always in abundance. Where there are fewer nutrients, trees will struggle to grow. If we’re thinking about a forest, there needs to be enough nutrients to sustain all trees or they’ll end up competing.


We all know that trees and plants need water to grow and it’s been noted that, in the world’s temperate forests, where moisture levels are higher, trees tend to get a lot larger. Not only is there more rainfall, but some species, like the redwood, are also able to take in moisture from the air with their leaves. These trees need water in order to gain height. Where there is a lack of moisture, a tree will put its energy into other things aside from growing tall.

Of course, there are some species that are much less tolerant of moisture, and giving them too much water can have an adverse effect.

If you’re growing trees, it’s once again important to research the amount of water the species needs in order for it to thrive. Furthermore, you need to couple this with the soil’s ability to hold water, as some soil is much more well-draining than others.


Trees, like many types of plants, use photosynthesis to make food using light from the sun, which they convert into chemical compounds like sugar.

The more readily they’re able to do this, the more energy they have and the easier it is for them to grow. That’s why you may notice that trees planted in a shady spot tend to grow a little more slowly than those planted in full sun, even if the two are relatively close together.

And growth speed is also notably different in equatorial trees where there is more light and much longer growing seasons. When you compare the speed to trees in the far reaches of the Northern Hemisphere, the difference is obvious.


Staying with the notion that trees along the equator grow more quickly, this is also related to temperate. These trees are exposed to much more heat and that can speed up growth, meaning it can take just ten years for a tree in these conditions to mature. On the other hand, while trees in North American temperate forests may excel in height, it can take them much longer to mature.

However, it’s a sad fact that climate change is playing a role in how quickly trees in cooler climates are growing. It’s been shown that the growing season has lengthened by around three weeks and this means that trees are getting bigger, quicker. But this isn’t necessarily a good thing because they’re a lot weaker than they would be had they taken the full time to grow.


Trees all around the world are prone to pests that can stunt their growth. This is problematic in itself, but when you learn that trade and climate change are introducing new pests to various locations around the world, it’s easy to see why some trees might have a hard time.

For example, emerald ash borers have long been a tree pest in North America, but they’re now becoming an issue in Europe. Although the good news is that scientists are looking at ways to detect them before they have a serious negative impact.

There are lots of pests that could affect the growth of a tree such as the aphid. These are incredibly common insects that can stunt the growth of shoots and affect the tree leaves, especially in large numbers.

Do Trees Ever Stop Growing?

Do trees ever stop growing?

If trees never stopped growing, we’d have some real monsters around the world. Yes, there are lots of very tall trees but there is a limit on how tall a tree can get and several factors affect this. Yet, while there may be limits on height, there’s nothing to say that trees don’t start bulking up as they get older.

Researchers have been looking into the maximum possible height of a tree, and they’ve established it to be somewhere between 400 (122 meters) and 426 feet (130 meters). Although, there aren’t currently any trees in existence that have gotten that tall. It’s all to do with opposing forces that would eventually balance, causing the tree to stop growing.

It would be assumed that a tree would want to grow as tall as possible in order to outdo its neighbors in the competition for light. However, studies have shown that, when planted in groups, trees will often grow to a similar height.

There’s also the issue of water. Trees draw water up from their roots, but as they grow, it becomes increasingly difficult for them to transport that water to the very top. If the leaves up here don’t get enough water, they stop being able to photosynthesize and therefore stop growing.

10 Tallest Trees in the World

There are some truly magnificent examples of nature around the world and none are quite as extraordinary as the world’s tallest trees. There have been claims in history of trees that were 430 feet (131 meters) tall but the current record-holder is Hyperion at a whopping 380 feet (116 meters)!

10. Klinki Pine (Araucaria hunsteinii)

The klinki pine that stands in Papua New Guinea is currently 197 feet (60 meters).
Phil Markey / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

Height: 197 ft (60 m)
Location: Papua New Guinea
Name of tree: N/A

The klinki pine that stands in Papua New Guinea is currently 197 feet (60 meters), but there’s scope for it to get much bigger since the species is thought to be able to get as tall as 295 feet (90 meters) in the right conditions. The tree grows at an elevation of more than 1,640 feet (500 meters) which is strange for a species like this, and it’s closely related to the monkey puzzle tree.

This type of tree is native to the island, and the trunk can get up to 118 inches (3 meters) in diameter. However, the klinki pine is now listed as endangered due to severe habitat loss in recent years.

9. Manna Gum (Eucalyptus viminalis)

Not only is the white knight super tall, but it’s also wide, with a diameter of 130 inches (3.3 meters).
Nicolás Boullosa / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Height: 301 ft (92 m)
Location: Evercreech Forest Reserve (Tasmania)
Name of tree: White Knight

On the small Australian Island of Tasmania, we find a group of manna gum trees that are growing a lot taller than one would expect. The tallest example is the white knight at 301 feet (92 meters), but these trees don’t always get the attention they deserve and are often overshadowed by other types of eucalypt, like the mountain ash.

While the white knight is a prime example of the largest manna gum, it may surprise you to learn that some trees of this species don’t get very tall at all. On average, however, they get to around 162 feet (50 meters).

Not only is the white knight super tall, but it’s also wide, with a diameter of 130 inches (3.3 meters).

8. Southern Blue Gum (Eucalyptus globulus)

Height: 298 ft (90.7m)
Location: Tasmania
Name of tree: Neeminah Loggerale Meena (Mother & Daughter)

Staying in Tasmania, we meet the southern blue gum named Neeminah Loggerale Meena, which means Mother and Daughter. Not only is this huge tree more than 295 feet (90 meters) in height, its trunk has a diameter of 150 inches (3.8 meters). 

But if you thought that was big, this tropical tree is only the current record holder for height, as one of its ancestors exceeded 331 feet (101 meters).

Being over 279 feet (85 meters), the tree is spared from being cut under authority law, and it’s a good job that this rule is in place as a lot of southern blue gums were felled when the British first colonized Australia. Surprisingly, the average height for this species is just 98 feet (30 meters).

7. Bhutan Cypress (Cupressus cashmeriana)

Height: 310 ft (94.6 m)
Location: Wangdue Phodrang District, Bhutan
Name of tree: N/A

The cupressus cashmeriana is a tree that generally doesn’t get much bigger than around 60 feet (18 meters) with a spread of 20 feet (6 meters). However, there’s one example of the species that has grown way past 308 feet (94 meters) and stands in the Wangdue Phodrang district of Bhutan.

This is a type of coniferous tree that’s common in parts of Asia, such as India and Bhutan but has also been introduced to places like Nepal and China.

Legend says that there is a spiritual treasure hidden inside the tree that is thought to be more than 1000 years old.

6. Giant Sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum)

The giant sequoia is probably one of the most well-known tall trees in the world, and the biggest example can be found in the Sequoia National Forest, CA.

Height: 314 ft (95.7 m)
Location: Sequoia National Forest, California (United States)
Name of tree: N/A

The giant sequoia is probably one of the most well-known tall trees in the world, and the biggest example can be found right here in the United States in the Sequoia National Forest, CA. This whopping tree has grown to more than 312 feet (95 meters).

The biggest tree in the world, in terms of circumference, is called the General Sherman and measures 1,232 inches (31.3 meters) around the base. It’s thought that this huge tree could be up to 2500 years old!

But it’s probably still got a lot of life left in it since these evergreen trees are thought to be able to survive for up to 3000 years. I wonder how much larger it will get in that time?

5. Sitka Spruce (Picea sitchensis)

Located in California, Raven’s Tower is a massive tree that’s not just tall, but also super wide, with a diameter of 192 inches (4.87 meters).

Height: 317 ft (96.7 m)
Location: Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, California (United States)
Name of tree: Raven’s Tower

Located in California, Raven’s Tower is a massive tree that’s not just tall, but also super wide, with a diameter of 192 inches (4.87 meters). This gentle giant is something of a secret as although we know roughly where it is, the exact location has not been disclosed, so it’s one of the few that you won’t be able to visit.

This sitka spruce, a type of coniferous tree, enjoys a moist climate and since the conditions are right, it seems to be continuing to grow. While the tree was discovered in 2001, it wasn’t actually measured until 2007.

While Raven’s Tower is huge, this species doesn’t usually get much larger than around 230 feet (70 meters), so it’s something of an anomaly.

4. Yellow Meranti (Shorea faguetiana)

Menara the yellow meranti tree is thought to be the tallest tropical tree in the world, whose height is longer than a football field!
Annette Teng / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 3.0

Height: (323.3 ft) 98.53 m
Location: Danum Valley Conservation Area, Sabah (Borneo)
Name of tree: Menara

Menara the yellow meranti tree is thought to be the tallest tropical tree in the world, whose height is longer than a football field! The name Menara comes from the Malay meaning tower, and that’s a pretty fitting name even if the tree is located in Borneo. That said, it has a very famous, and equally tall sibling that’s located in Malaysia.

The tree is not only super tall but also incredibly heavy. Estimates of its weight suggest it to be around 180,000 lbs (81,646 kg) which is the same as a full Boeing 737!

Not only is this the tallest tropical tree, but it’s also the tallest tree on the entire continent of Asia and it wasn’t actually discovered until 2018.

3. Coast Douglas-Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii)

While the Doerner Fir currently stands at 327 feet (99.7 meters), it has actually lost some of its height and was measured in the early 90s to be 329 feet (100 meters).
Bureau of Land Management Oregon and Washington / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0

Height: (327 ft) 99.7m
Location: Brummitt Creek, Coos County, Oregon (United States)
Name of tree: Doerner Fir

While the Doerner Fir currently stands at 327 feet (99.7 meters), it has actually lost some of its height and was measured in the early 90s to be 329 feet (100 meters). Still, it remains one of the tallest trees in the world and is the tallest non-redwood on the planet.

But while it is one of the tallest in the world, it’s not as old as some of the Asian trees we’ve looked at. This douglas fir is thought to be between 450 and 500 years old, but since this species can live up to 1000 years, it’s only halfway through its life!

The average height of trees within this species doesn’t usually exceed 247 feet (75 meters) so the Doerner Fir really is an exception to the norm.

2. Mountain Ash (Eucalyptus regnans)

Centurion is the tallest eucalypt on the planet and is located on the island of Tasmania
Contactcat / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

Height: 330 ft (100.5 m)
Location: Arve Valley, Tasmania (Australia)
Name of tree: Centurion

Centurion is the tallest eucalypt on the planet and something that the island of Tasmania is very proud of. It’s even become a local milestone within the wilderness. Measuring 330 feet (100.5 meters), it’s hardly surprising, but not only is it tall, it’s also a very robust tree.

In recent forest fires, it seems that Centurion wasn’t ready to go down without a fight. While the tree did sustain some damage, it lived to see another day.

The mountain ash is a fast growing species that can grow up to 215 feet (66 meters) in as little as 50 years. However, it’s estimated that Centurion is around 400 years old. The tree could keep growing, and its being regularly measured by people who are brave enough to climb to the top and drop a tape measure. That said, the last measurement in 2019 was done using a laser.

1. Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens)

Estimated to be somewhere between 600 and 800 years old, Hyperion is young compared to some of the world’s tallest trees.
National Park Service Digital Image Archives / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

Height: 383 feet (116.7 m)
Location: Redwood National Park, California (United States)
Name of tree: Hyperion

Estimated to be somewhere between 600 and 800 years old, Hyperion is young compared to some of the world’s tallest trees. But redwoods are a very fast-growing species, and this example has managed to get to a ginormous 383 feet (116.7 meters). But it lives in a forest that’s filled with enormous trees like Helios and Icarus that stand at 374 feet (114.1 meters) and 371 feet (113.1 meters) respectively. This is one of the reasons that the trees grow so tall; they’re constantly competing with their neighbors for sunlight.

It seems there must be something about the location that encourages redwoods to grow and it’s true, it’s all about having the right conditions. That’s what makes redwoods get so massive.

For starters, these trees have very easy access to water. Not only do they live in an area where there’s a good amount of rainfall, allowing them to draw water up from the roots, but things can also get very foggy. This moisture in the air is absorbed by the tree’s leaves giving it a real growth boost.

What’s more, the area has just the right balance of nutrients in the soil to help these giants thrive.

Hyperion is the tallest tree in the world and while it’s still relatively young, it’s thought that woodpecker damage near the top will stunt its future growth. Even so, it would be illegal to cut it down.

But you have to ask whether cutting it would be the only way to finish it off since Hyperion and its redwood brothers and sisters can withstand a lot; they’re even fire-resistant! They do this in several ways including having high levels of tannins in their bark which is actually a natural flame retardant.

On top of this, redwoods have bark that can grow up to a foot (0.3 meters) in thickness, and this acts as a thick layer of protection, holding moisture within the tree. What’s more, because the tree takes water in through its leaves, it’s usually a lot wetter than other species, so won’t catch fire as easily. And if that wasn’t enough protection, you also have to consider the sheer height which fire would have a serious problem reaching.

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