This article will focus on record trees — the oldest, tallest and thickest tree. We will also talk about the problem of deforestation and their regeneration.
In 1997, a 24-year-old girl named Julia Hill set the world record for staying in a tree by climbing a giant redwood tree and not descending from there for 728 days. Thus, she drew public attention to one of the most serious problems of our time — the problem of widespread deforestation. In addition, she also managed to save the red giant from destruction. Unlike humans, a tree does not suffer from various diseases with age — part of the tree can die while other parts continue to grow, allowing the tree to exist for thousands of years. Trees are one of the most valuable and underestimated resources on the planet. According to the World Bank, the annual turnover of the wood market is 270 billion dollars. We are very dependent on trees, although we do not notice or realize this. Taking trees for granted, we do not understand that one day they may disappear for good.
In the depths of Redwood National Park lies the 700-year-old Hyperion, the tallest tree in the world at 115.5 meters. Redwoods like Hyperion are tall, not very thick trees that grow in the California coastal strip. Most of the specimens protected by the state are in the Sequoia National Park, including the thickest tree — the sequoia of General Sherman. It is surprising that their own ecosystems are formed on the trunks of these giants — lichens, animals, plants, and even small trees growing on the upper tiers of the sequoia.
While the Hyperion is the tallest tree in the world, the giant General Sherman is the largest tree in volume and one of the oldest. The 2200 year old general is 83 meters high and weighs over 6 tons with a base of 32 meters (diameter)
The Montezuma Cypress tree in Mexico is not as tall and massive as the aforementioned sequoias, but surpasses them in girth with a diameter of 48 meters. At over 2000 years old, it is also one of the oldest trees. It seems that these are several trunks growing side by side, but DNA analysis showed that this is one tree.
Now let’s move on to the oldest tree in the world known to science — a pine tree called Methuselah, 4842 years old. These trees live so long because of their special unpretentiousness and ability to adapt to various conditions. The ancient pines are relatively low, the tallest being 18 meters high. The main threat to such trees is people. The location of this pine tree is kept secret so as not to cause irreparable damage to the tree.
Speaking of durable trees, we can also mention aspen — with its complex root system, it can survive anything, even a huge forest fire. Having completely burned out, the roots will still give rise to a new tree. During excavations, living aspen roots 80,000 years old were discovered. Let’s move away from the topic of giants for a second — the rainbow eucalyptus is considered the most beautiful tree.
The topic of the largest trees would not be complete without mentioning the banyan tree — a sacred tree in Buddhism and Hinduism. In the wild, banyans grow to huge sizes, but not in height and not in diameter. Their crown grows, sometimes covering an area of up to 100 square meters. This is achieved thanks to the roots of the branches from the main trunk, which tend to the ground, thereby creating an incredible picture.
These trees are lucky, they are protected at the state level, and may stand for more than one century. But not all trees are so lucky, tropical forests are disappearing at a catastrophic rate. At the moment, only 5% of the original number of redwoods remains, the forest is cut down everywhere and humanity has not yet realized the threat hanging over it