10 of the Tallest Trees in the World

These skyscraping superstars are the stalwart examples of their species.

6 tallest trees in the world revised April 2021 illustration

Treehugger / Ellen Lindner

Trees may be stuck in the ground, but they've clearly got some enviable traits – I mean, who wouldn't want to live in a pretty forest for a few thousand years? But despite all the things that trees are famous for, it's perhaps their height that inspires the most reverie. Humans may have a lot of cool tricks, but we'll never get to grow up to be 35 stories tall.

In this regard, trees get to inhabit the best of all worlds, heaven and earth. With roots planted in the ground they get a taste of soil, while their upper reaches soak up the sun and touch the sky. But unlike the proverbial beanstalk of Jack's, scientists say they can't grow upwards forever. Theoretically, the maximum height for trees is between 400 and 426 feet (122 and 130 meters)—and while trees of the past may have attained such majestic heights, some of the world's tallest trees were sadly felled for lumber. The towering trees that remain, however, are still staggeringly lofty. Consider the following 10 trees, each one the tallest in the world by species.

10. King Stringy: 282 Feet (86 Meters)

Bark of the Eucalyptus obliqua tree
Arthur Chapman / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0

All hail the king! While King Stringy may sound more like a cartoon character than a tree, this beautiful brown top stringbark (Eucalyptus obliqua) can be found in Tasmania, Australia. These trees are named for their thick, stringy bark, as you can see in the photo above. They're also known as messmate stringybark, stringybark, and Tasmanian oak.

9. Alpine Ash in Florentine Valley: 288 Feet (88 Meters)

Towering tree
SwilliamsEpp / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

A towering example of Eucalyptus delegatensis, like the one pictured above, can be found in Tasmania, Australia in an area known for its old-growth forests. E. delegatensis is also known as alpine ash, gum-topped stringybark, and white-top.

8. Neeminah Loggorale Meena: 298 Feet (91 Meters)

Blue gums in the Blue Mountains National Park
Ignacio Palacios / Getty Images

Another member of the eucalyptus family, this blue gum Eucalyptus globulus also lives in Tasmania, Australia. As pointed out by Gatis Pavils at wondermondo.com, this giant gem of a blue gum is almost perilously close to clearcut areas. "Happily in this case," writes Pavlis, "nature conservation laws managed to save this tree from cutting - Forestry Tasmania follows the rule that trees above 85 m height are spared from cutting..."

7. White Knight: 301 Feet (92 Meters)

The trunk of a white gum
Nicolás Boullosa / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

There is actually a posse of white knights, a group of super-tall manna gums (Eucalyptus viminalis) that have called the Evercreech Forest Reserve in Tasmania, Australia, their home for some 300 years. Tasmania appears to be a haven for super tall eucalyptus trees.

6. Yellow Meranti in Borneo: 309 Feet (94 Meters)

Trunk of a yellow maranti tree
Alan_Lagadu / Getty Images

This incredible example of Shorea faguetiana can be found in Danum Valley Conservation Area, in Sabah on the island of Borneo. It has an almost-as-tall famous sibling in Malaysia.

5. Unnamed Giant Sequoia: 314 Feet (96 Meters)

Trunk of General Sherman
DonNichols / Getty Images

A few rare giant sequoias (Sequoiadendron giganteum) have grown taller than 300 feet; the tallest known giant sequoia is 314 feet tall. However, it is the sequoia’s giant girth that sets it apart. They are usually more than 20 feet in diameter, and at least one has a diameter of 35 feet. In addition, the largest tree in the world by volume is the General Sherman, above, a giant sequoia, boasting a total of 52,508 cubic feet! How impressive then that one of these giant elders, found in California's Sequoia National Forest, also ranks as one of the tallest trees on the planet.

4. Raven's Tower: 317 Feet (97 Meters)

Trail through large trees in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, California
 State of California / CC BY 2.0

Located somewhere in California's Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park (pictured above), the exact location of this stately sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) remains a secret, a courtesy afforded by foresters to a number of superlative trees. Other notable trees in this forest of giants include Big Tree, Corkscrew Redwood, and the Cathedral Trees.

3. Doerner Fir: 327 Feet (100 Meters)

The Doerner Fir is neck-and-neck with number two below, vying for the status of tallest non-redwood tree on the planet. This coastal Douglas fir grows in a remnant old-growth stand on the east side of Coos County in Oregon; a state in which most of the largest, oldest trees were felled in the frenzy of logging.

2. Centurion: 327.5 Feet (100 Meters)

cropped image of extremely tall Centurion tree in Australia with tourists
Contactcat / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 4.0

Centurion, in Arve Valley, Tasmania, Australia, is the world's tallest known individual Eucalyptus regnans tree; meaning it's the tallest tree of one of the tallest tree species in the world. Which is a pretty special claim to fame; that this tree is featured on the Tasmania Facebook page says a lot about its popularity.

1. Hyperion: 380.1 Feet (116 Meters)

chart showing tallest trees on earth
Candide / CC BY-SA 4.0 

Ah, the grandparent of all tall trees: Hyperion! This remarkable coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) was discovered in 2006 and is so tall that its top cannot be seen. Living in a secret location in Redwood National Park, California, it lives among other notable specimens including Helios at 374.3 feet (114.1 meters), Icarus at 371.2 feet (113.1 meters) and Daedalus at 363.4 feet (110.8 meters).

Hyperion is estimated to be between 700 and 800 years old. And if not for woodpecker damage at the top, it is believed it would have grown even taller.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • How do you measure a tall tree?

    In the case of the world's tallest tree, Hyperion, a forestry professor climbed the tree and dropped a measuring tape to the ground. Maybe the question should be: "How do you climb a 380-foot tree?"

  • Is there a limit to how tall a tree can grow?

    For giant sequoias, research shows that there are physical limits imposed by gravity—trees struggle to get sufficient water up so high, leading to water-stressed leaves at the top. That said, a tree can continue to grow in girth long after it has reached its maximum height.

View Article Sources
  1. Koch, George W. et al. “The Limits to Tree Height.” Nature, vol. 428, 2004, pp. 851–854., doi:10.1038/nature02417

  2. Giant Sequoia (Sequoiadendron Giganteum).” University of California Agricultural and Natural Resources.

  3. The Giant Sequoia National Monument.” U.S. Department of Agriculture.