Hyperion: the tallest tree in the world

The tallest tree in the world

Its name is Hyperion. Hyperion is a sequoia. Specifically, the sequoia evergreen (Sequoia sempervirens). Among giant trees, there is a competition for the title of the tallest on the planet. For example, Hyperion was recognized as the tallest in August 2006.

To tell you the truth, the trees themselves, of course, are unaware of their participation in such a competition. The search for the tallest, fattest, oldest, growing in extreme conditions, and more is done by humans. Let’s take a closer look at the world of dendro-isolines.

There are not so many varieties of trees on our planet whose height reaches sixty meters or more. Botanists include them common spruce and mountain pine, they grow up to 60-70 meters. False Lavson cypress, known to many gardeners as Lavson cypress (Chamaecyparis lawsoniana), in natural conditions can reach 80 m in height. Firs: noble fir, Nordmann fir, and Douglas-fir, otherwise known as Menzies pseudotsuga. Douglas-fir is the second tallest tree to date, a height of 70 m is not uncommon for it. The tallest living Douglas-fir is called “Doerner Fir” and is 99.4 m high. The Eucalyptus regalis, which can grow to more than 100 meters, is also of impressive size.

Climbing sequoias. Photo by Michael Nichols from http://www.nationalgeographic.com/

and nationalgeographic.com However, the “yellow leader’s jersey” rightfully belongs to the sequoias. A distinction is made between evergreen sequoia (or redwood) and giant sequoia (or sequoyadendron), which are also called mammoth trees for their gigantic size. Sequoias are taller, but sequoias have thicker trunks.

Sequoias — mammoth trees

General Sherman, Hyperion and Helios

As mentioned above, the tallest tree on Earth today is recognized as an evergreen sequoia named Hyperion. The tree, which grows in northern California in Redwood National Park, is 115.61 meters tall and has a trunk diameter of 4.84 meters at 1.5 meters. The giant is about eight hundred years old. Hyperion “unlucky”: its top was damaged by a woodpecker, so the giant’s growth slowed down. Perhaps very soon it will have to cede the palm to another representative of the red sequoias – Helios. Helios continues to grow actively, and as of 2015 its height was 114 m 58 cm. But let the young ones compete in growth. The largest tree on the planet is Sequoiadendron giganteum, called General Sherman.

Sequoiadendron General Sherman — the largest living organism on planet Earth

According to scientists’ calculations, this outstanding mammoth tree is almost 2,700 years old. Although it is far from being the tallest tree in the world (its height is only 83.8 m), General Sherman is the largest living organism on our planet. Well, not counting the Pando Grove (Utah, USA), a clonal colony of aspen-shaped poplar, whose combined weight is six thousand tons. Although it is a grove, it is considered a single organism. The weight of General Sherman is 1,900 tons, the volume of wood is 1,487 m³, and the diameter of the trunk is 7.7 m (at a height of 1.5 m). By comparison, the wood volume of the tall but “skinny” Hyperion is only 502 m³. No matter how tall sequoias are, there is a limit to their growth. And this limit, surprisingly enough, is set by the laws of physics. Scientists have calculated that the height of any tree on our planet can not exceed 120-130 m. To grow higher will prevent the forces of gravity and the friction of the water against the pores of the wood.

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The authors of the famous Golden Calf, Ilya Ilf and Yevgeny Petrov, wrote in The One-Story America that “Americans are extremely practical people. Near the Sherman there hangs a plaque which informs with the greatest accuracy that from this one tree you can build forty houses, five rooms in each house.”

Lumberjacks and sequoias. Photo from https://gravgrav.com

Sequoias are some of the oldest trees on Earth. They grew extensively on our planet back in the Cretaceous Period (145 million years ago). The Ice Age significantly reduced the sequoia forests in North America, and the remaining ones were thoroughly thinned by the inhabitants of the New World: even if you cut down one tree and built a whole cottage community. Now there are only three dozen groves of these giants left in Northern California on the slopes of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Sequoia adendron sapling. Photo from https://4seed.jimdo.com

For those who love conifers and are interested in giants, you can get a real sequoyadendron on your plot. This relict plant is real to grow from seeds or buy ready-made seedlings.

The biggest tree

Nature is able to surprise with its creations. Many people are used to the fact that if we talk about large natural objects, it must necessarily be mountains. However, there are trees on our planet, the size of which can surprise. Contrary to popular belief, baobabs are not among the largest trees on Earth. Their maximum girth is 25 meters. There are much larger and wider representatives in the world.

Top 10 largest trees in the world

  1. Hyperion. The tallest sequoia and tree on the planet.
  2. Helios. Another giant from the cypress world.
  3. Icarus. Sequoia with a burnt top.
  4. Stratospheric giant. An unusually beautiful and large sequoia spreading its huge branches.
  5. National Geographic Society. This is also a tree, albeit with a very original name.
  6. Orion. A neat, large one popular with photographers.
  7. Lauraline. A slender sequoia that many photographers love.
  8. Rockefeller. A tree with rich crowns named after a longtime millionaire.
  9. Paradox. The paradoxically huge resident of Rockefeller Forest.
  10. Mendocino. Last on the list, but far from the last tallest tree in the world.
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Hyperion – the largest tree in the world

Hyperion is almost 116 m tall. This giant grows in Redwood Park and is protected because it is actually a natural monument. The diameter of its trunk is 4.84 m.


Hyperion is the largest tree in the world

The sequoia is amazingly old and is almost 700 years old. It is called Hyperion because scientists associate it with the titan from ancient Greek mythology. The tall tree has also earned the title of the world’s heaviest sequoia.

Helios is a contender for first place

It was the Helios tree that was considered the tallest tree in the world and at the same time it was called the largest. Its height exceeds 114 m with a trunk diameter of about 5 m.


This giant tree continues to grow

The giant continues to grow, even its leaves seem huge, which is clearly visible in the photo.

Icarus – the tree with the burnt top

It is because of its top that Icarus got its name. It surprises by its large size, which is clearly visible in the photo.

Sequoia Icarus

One of the largest trees on Earth compared to humans

With a height of 113.4 m, the diameter of this natural wonder is almost 3.8 m. Icarus, like Helios and Hyperion, belongs to the sequoias.

The stratospheric giant is a sequoia that continues to grow

The stratospheric giant has already reached 113 meters in height, while it continues to grow. The sequoia is located in Humboldt Park.

Stratospheric Giant

Another representative of the cypress tree that continues to grow

Its photos have flown around the world and still fascinate all travelers. The stratospheric giant turned out to be so big that its crown did not fit in the picture in any way. So I had to move a good distance to make the photo.

The NGO, the amazing tree in Redwood Park.

In the photo you can see the tree with the strange name of the National Geographic Society.

National Geographic Society

National Geographic Society conquest.

That is the name of this sequoia tree. It reaches a height of 112 m and has a diameter of 4.39 m. It is the NGO that opens the ranking of the struggling sequoias for every centimeter. It is ranked as one of the tallest and largest trees in the world, while outpacing its neighbors by a few centimeters.

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Orion is another Redwood treasure

The battle for centimeters between the NGO and Orion continues to this day. It has been established that Orion reaches a height of 112.63 m, while its closest competitor has a height of 112.71 m.


Orion is not only a constellation, but also a tree

It was possible to measure the exact height thanks to special equipment. In doing so, the experts also determined the age, which is about 1500 years old. It is a relatively old tree. The importance of Orion is not only in its botanical uniqueness, it can be a nesting site for birds, which are included in the Red Book.

Lauraline – bypassing the “millionaire”

The sequoia Lauralin stands 112.62 meters tall. Like other sequoias, it attracts many photographers.


Beautiful and slender Lauralin

Although it’s not easy to take photos of such a large tree, that doesn’t stop enthusiasts.

Rockefeller’s neighbor Lauralin

The Rockefeller Sequoia reaches a height of 112.6 meters.

Rockefeller Forest

Photo of the Rockefeller Forest.

Although the tree has a reputation as one of the largest in the world, its diameter is still unknown. This sequoia grows in the Rockefeller Forest.

Paradox is one of the largest and most beautiful trees in the world

At 112.56 m, the Paradox is characterized by a beautifully slender structure, clearly visible in the photo.


Paradox is a paradoxically large tree.

This is why the sequoia has gained fame as one of the most beautiful trees in the world.

Mendocino – closing the ranking

Located in Montgomery Woods, the Mendocino sequoia reaches 112.2 meters with a diameter of 4.19 meters.


The smallest of the largest.

The tree is also a member of the polytypical sequoia genus and is very popular with tourists visiting the state of California. Like its other relatives, Mendocino is a conifer.

Features of the sequoia

Sequoia belongs to the cypress family. This family is very rich. Absolutely all sequoias are long-livers, and some can live up to 2,000 years. Such a great “life potential” remains a mystery for scientists, and at the same time the world of science knows of cases when a tree could not reach even 500 years of age. Sequoias were first discovered in the 16th century. These trees immediately attracted the attention of industrialists, so they instantly became very popular for logging, which led to merciless logging. When it became known that sequoias around the world would fall under strict protection, logging companies started working harder than ever before. Now some of the representatives of these beautiful trees can only be seen in pictures.

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Sequoia in a U.S. national park

Sequoias are very popular with tourists from all over the world.

Sequoias are really excellent for their maintenance qualities. They now number less than 5% of what they once were. Fire-resistant wood is a great material. It is hard to find natural materials in nature that are suitable for building homes, that are aesthetically pleasing and easy to work with. Sequoia, on the other hand, meets these requirements completely and does not burn in a fire.

Where does the name come from?

The name of one of the most amazing members of the cypress family has a long history. It was suggested by botanist Stefan Endlicher. The names he proposed did not find a clear justification, but now the world of science knows that sequoia is the name of the chief of the Cherokee Indian tribe, who invented the syllabic alphabet.

Botanical features of the sequoia

First and foremost, the sequoia is characterized by its very thick bark. Of all the trees in the world, its bark can be called almost the thickest. It can be up to 30 cm thick, and the bark itself is quite soft, capable of darkening over time. The root system spreads widely, the leaves of young Sequoias are usually flat, and seed spreading occurs with the opening of the cones.

Where you can find sequoia

Sequoia photo lovers are well aware that the world’s largest trees grow primarily along the Pacific coast (USA). Sequoia can be found both at a respectable height (up to 1 km) and near the coast.

Where to see sequoia

An immense giant.

Sequoia is a moisture-loving tree, for which sea air is quite normal and even favorable for growth. The tallest members of the cypress family grow exactly where there is access to sea air.

There are many interesting facts about sequoias. Let’s list some of them:

  • A study by Northern Arizona University found that the maximum height an individual specimen can reach is 130 meters.
  • The widest representative of these trees is the Titan Del Norte, which has a diameter of 7.22 meters and a height of 93.57 meters. Thus, its volume is approximately 1,045 cubic meters.
  • There is a unique phenomenon in nature – the albino sequoias. One of them can be seen in the photo below.

Giant sequoyadendron is a special kind of sequoia

Such trees are also commonly referred to as mammoth trees. Earlier they were attributed to the Taxodiaceae. It is not difficult to guess that sequoyadendron got its name because of its gigantic size. Its hanging branches remind us of mammoth tusks. This incredibly ancient representative of the natural world, which appeared in the Tertiary period. There are not many sequoyadendrons on Earth. They can be found only in the Sierra Nevada. The real representatives of sequoyadendrons grow in Sequoia National Park. They can grow up to 100 meters tall and can be up to 12 meters in diameter. The largest representative of sequoyadendrons at the moment is General Sherman, reaching almost 84 m. Scientists believe that some specimens are capable of surviving up to 6000 years. So far it has been proved (according to the annual rings) that the maximum age of sequoyadendrons can be 3,500 years.

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Giant Sequoia

Giant sequoyadendron: an example of the power of nature

Many people try to breed sequoyadendrons, but such ornamental plants require a suitable climate. Therefore, they grow well in Holland, Switzerland, England and other European countries.

Sequoia albino – a miracle of nature

From afar it may seem that such a tree is simply covered with snow. In fact, it has a genetic mutation, so its needles become white.

Sequoia albino

The branches of an albino Sequoia tree are entirely white.

In fact, the albino sequoia becomes a weed, feeding off the roots of other congeners. However, albinos are very protective and try to hide their location to prevent them from becoming detected by poachers.

Sequoia National Park – the center of the giants

Located in the Sierra Nevada, Sequoia National Park attracts thousands of tourists each year. It is one of the most popular and rivals Yellowstone as well as Machino. The park covers more than 1,600 square kilometers. Nearby is King’s Canyon, managed by the U.S. National Park. The national park is famous for its giant sequoias. Among them, General Sherman stands out in particular.

The Giant Forest is located here, distinguished by its picturesque and landscaped area. The height at which this masterpiece of nature is located is almost 2,000 meters above sea level. Not only sequoias grow here, but also gafferias, monocot fir and magnificent fir. Among the local inhabitants, black-tailed deer and Douglas-fir squirrels appear most often. Here is an interesting village Vuksachi, which is inhabited by about 300 people. The main occupation that allows the locals to earn money is to serve tourists. For the most part, Giant Woods has become a commercial sector. For an in-depth exploration of the surrounding area, you can visit the Moro Rock, which looks like a granite dome. It offers a great view, and there is a staircase for climbing, so everyone can do the climb.

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