The 27 Tallest Trees In The World | Huge Trees + Images
From tiny seeds grow the tallest trees in the world that soar incredible distances into the sky. Like all trees, they stabilise climates, clean the air and absorb greenhouse gases. Some are considered sacred among communities and recognised for how they provide people with shelter, water, medicines and livelihoods.
Some have been measured in-situ, and others, only by aerial technology due to their remote location. This is why some on this list may be contested as often measurements are slightly exaggerated — it’s a competitive title, after all! Regardless, they are majestic, breathtaking and truly natural wonders of our planet.
In addition to this, some of the trees in our list are examples from the tree’s species, rather than an individual tree.
Located in California, this is the tallest tree in the world at over 115 metres. It is a coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens). Many believe it is one of the most beautiful trees in the world. Some report it to be between 700 and 800 years old, and its exact location is secret to protect it from damage.
Image from Live Science
When it comes to tall trees, this one is also impressive, at over 100 metres tall. It is a yellow meranti (Shorea faguetiana) and is located on the island of Borneo. It is considered to be the tallest known tree in the tropics and also one of the tallest flowering plants in the world.
Image from Wikipedia
Standing at just over 100 metres, this is the highest known eucalyptus (Eucalyptus regnans). It is a flowering plant found in the Arve Valley in southeast Tasmania.
4. Doerner Fir
Image from Oregon Live
This Coast Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii var. menziesii) is a conifer located in Oregon in the US and stands at over 99 metres.
5. Raven’s Tower
This towering tree is a Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) located in California in the US. It is a conifer and is over 96 metres tall. Unfortunately, it’s location isn’t disclosed by the American authorities, so we don’t have a picture.
6. Tallest Giant Sequoia
This tree is located in Sequoia National Forest in California and is over 96 metres tall. Its botanical name is Sequoiadendron giganteum. Very fitting, we think!
7. Sir Vim
Image from Wondermondo
A breathtaking local, this is one of the trees in the group known as “White Knights” and found in north-east Tasmania. They are manna gums (Eucalyptus viminalis), and the highest is over 92 metres tall. Some of them are also over 300 years old!
8. Neemina Loggorale Meena
This Tasmanian blue gum (Eucalyptus globulus) has a name meaning “Mother and daughter” located northwest of Huonville in Tasmania. It is over 90 metres tall and over 12 metres wide.
9. Noble Fir
Located in the Goat Marsh Research Natural Area in Washington, this noble fir (Abies procure) is a conifer that is almost 90 metres in height.
10. Dinizia Excelsa
Image from Wikipedia
Located near the Jari River in Brazil, this tree is over 88 metres tall and 5.5 metres wide. It is the tallest Angelim vermelho tree (a well-known type of wood from the Amazon region), and this one is thought to be over 400 years old.
11. Princess Picabella
Image from Twitter
Located in Tasmania, this lowering plant is a brown top stringybark (Eucalyptus obliqua) and is around 88.54 metres tall.
12. Alpine Ash
This is why tree lovers adore Tasmania. Yet another towering example of nature’s finest is the alpine ash (Eucalyptus delegatensis) which can reach heights of over 87 metres.
13. Pontiankak Putih Cantik
Image from Wikipedia
Located in Tawau Hills National Park in Sabah on the island of Borneo, this mengaris (Koompassia excelsa) is a flowering plant that stands over 85 meres tall.
14. Shorea Argentifolia
Image from Wikipedia
At over 84 metres tall, this flowering plant can be found at the Gaharu Ridge of Tawau Hills National Park in Sabah on the island of Borneo.
15. Shorea Superb
Another flowering plant located in Borneo (at the Gergassi Ridge of Tawau Hills National Park), this one is also over 84 metres tall.
16. Shining Gum
Image from Trust Trees
Another Aussie local, this Eucalyptus nitens is a flowering plant found in the O’Shannassy Catchment in Victoria. It is over 84 metres tall.
17. Sugar Pine
Image from Scenic Wonders
A towering conifer, this Pinus lambertiana is over 83 metres tall and can be found in Yosemite National Park in California in the US.
Image from Conifers.org
Another conifer found in the US (this time in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park in California) this Tsuga heterophylla is just over 83 metres tall.
19. Hopea Nutans
The island of Borneo is home to a number of the tallest trees in the world, and this one is found at the Gaharu Ridge of Tawau Hills National Park in Sabah. It is over 82 metres tall.
20. Shorea Johorensis
Image from Sabah Tourism
This flowering plant is also found in Tawau Hills National Park in Sabah, this time at the Coco-Park boundary. It is just over 82 metres tall.
21. Shorea Smithiana
A neighbour to the above, this is also a flowering plant found at the Coco-Park boundary and is also just over 82 metres tall.
Image from Oregon Live
Moving back to the US, this Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) is a conifer over 81 metres tall and found in the Siskiyou National Forest in Oregon.
23. Entandrophragma Excelsum
Image from New Scientist
Standing at just over 81 metres, this flowering plant is found at Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
24. Sydney Blue Gum
Although it sounds like an Aussie tree, this fine specimen is actually found in Woodbush State Forest in South Africa. With a botanical name of Eucalyptus saligna, it is over 81 metres tall and is the world’s tallest planted tree.
25. Grand Fir
This Abies grandis is a conifer found in Glacier Peak Wilderness in Washington in the US. It is over 81 metres tall.
26. Shorea Gibbosa
This 81-metre-high flowering plant is found on the River Plats in Tawau Hills National Park in Sabah on the island of Borneo.
27. Lawson Cypress
Image from All Trails
Another tree standing at just over 81 metres is this Chamaecyparis lawsoniana, which can be found in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park in California in the US.
How to measure a tall tree
Traditionally, a tree’s height was calculated using a clinometer, an instrument used for measuring elevation, angles of slope or depression of an object with respect to gravity’s direction. The angle made between a tree’s crown and the ground would then be considered. In this case, it was assumed that the tree’s top was directly below the base, although this was not often the case.
It is the case for a light tower and an electricity pole, but not with trees like eucalypts! Hence, many of the older, inaccurate records calculated using this method are still being used today (which is why there is some debate as to what constitutes some of the world’s tallest trees!
These days, surveyors can narrow down the tallest trees or species using broader scale methods like remote sensing or geometry. Laser rangefinders (similar to those used by golfers to track the distance of their swing) are a far easier and safer way of measuring height within the nearest metre or two.
Light detection and ranging (LiDAR) systems mounted on planes or satellites are a more advanced version of this technology. LiDAR instruments send pulses of light to both the ground and the tree’s crown. An accurate measurement of height can be calculated by measuring the difference in the time it takes for these two pulses to bounce back.
However, to pin down the exact height of a tall tree, it needs to be climbed, and a measuring tape dropped. This can record a height within a 10-centimetre range, but what a dangerous job!
Caring for our tall trees
Water is drawn up a tree — what is called transpiration — in a continuous column as it evaporates from leaves into the atmosphere.
A few years ago, scientists from Northern Arizona University climbed the world’s tallest trees to measure their photosynthesis and water potential in the highest branches and analysed leaves they took back to the laboratory. Interestingly, they found that gravity starts to win out against water cohesion at around 110 metres.
Australia’s gum trees can grow very tall, and the leaves most distant from the base are under extreme water stress. Their small size and low photosynthetic rates may be due to the plant closing some of its breathing pores (known as stomata). This not only retains precious water but also slows down the rate of water transport through the plant. This reduces the possibility of air bubbles being formed, which would mean death for a lofty limb. The scientists also found that to keep tall trees alive and transpiring healthily, the surrounding forest must remain intact, which maintains high moisture levels and buffers the trees against storm damage.
So if we want to keep our tall trees in Australia healthy (and alive!), we need to look after the forests surrounding them. Recent droughts have put some of these giant trees under additional stress, so doing what we can to reduce the severity and impact of climate change will also help our botanical giants survive.
- 2022, Tallest Tree Species, Guinness World Records
- Tom Fish, 2021, The 25 Tallest Trees in the World, Newsweek
- 2022, World’s Tallest Trees, Wondermondo Wonders of the World
- 2022, List of tallest trees, Wikipedia
- 2013, Australia’s tallest trees, Australian Geographic
- 2017, In search of Australia’s biggest tree: How you can help identify giant plants, ABC News