101m eucalypt found in Tasmania

October 10, 2008

According to this report. I can't see how it can be the 2nd tallest tree in the world, though. They probably mean the 2nd tallest species.

Comments (27)

  • pineresin

    Interesting one! Yep, they must mean 2nd tallest species, as there's numerous Sequoia sempervirens specimens over 110m tall.

    I'd also like to know about the methodology and accuracy of measurement.


  • pineresin

    Laser measured; more details here:

    Here is a link that might be useful:,22884,24474407-3462,00.html

  • jqpublic

    Is swamp gum another name for Eucalyptus?

  • treeguy123

    Very tall tree.

    Yes, Swamp Gum may refer to a number of Eucalyptus species.
    This Eucalyptus named Centurion 101m (331.4 ft) and specifically is a (Eucalyptus regnans). It was measured with a laser using the "sine method". Because the sight to the very top of the tree was partially obscured by the treeÂs healthy crown, it may possibly be taller. The trunk Diameter was 405 cm (13.3 ft). It is the tallest Eucalyptus tree in the world, the tallest hardwood tree in the world, and the tallest flowering plant in the world.

    There are at least 15 Coast Redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens) taller than this Eucalyptus currently, I estimate it may have reached around 367 ft (112m) (possibly taller?) before the top broke off. Even if it did turn out to be 367 ft (112m) in the past, there would have still been several Coast Redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens) taller. If the tree did reach around 379 ft (115.55 m) (the current tallest Coast Redwood) Or not (which we probably will never know), it's still a very amazing tree, and hold the record of the tallest hardwood and flower plant which is amazing in itself.

    A sketch I made showing the possible past height:

  • pineresin

    Sorry, but that assumption of past extra height up to 112m is completely bogus. The same thick trunk up to the break can just as easily - and more realistically - be explained by repeated episodes of growth to ~100m or thereabouts followed by repeated breakage and/or dieback to ~90m.

    We all know that once a tree top has broken off one time, the regrowth is weakly attached and keeps on breaking off at the same point. It's what we keep on having to point out to people who want to top their (much smaller) trees. It is also a severe fight for the tree to get water up to that height; drought effects are greatly multiplied up there. That's what the researchers in the Coast Redwood forests have been finding too, repeated episodes of dieback / breakage and regrowth, not just a single episode as you're suggesting.

    Next big gale or drought, this tree will be back to 90m, then it'll start the regrowth back to 100m until it is in high exposure again, and the cycle repeats, gradually thickening the trunk up to 90m with the tree never having been anything like 112m.


  • treeguy123

    LOL I know it is likely bogus, I used a average size "ball of leaves" which is about 4 feet in diameter as a scale in the left picture. 340' to 345' (104m to 105m) is likely the max it has ever reached in the past. I was just adding 110m height as an assumption if the trunk ever really did continue up as a normal trunk. Also the guys measuring the tree said it might have been the tallest tree in world at one time before the break (possible large single break seen by them maybe?), which is interesting but likely bogus.

    But I bet it was likely 100 to 105 meters in the past at least, before breaking, because it looks like it rapidly grew back many branches to try and reach its possible past height and past photosynthesis level.

  • Embothrium

    I'd say the apparent size of the break could indicate there was, in fact a continuation of the main stem for some distance at one time. There has to have been a trunk there to have snapped off and produced the break in the first place. These pictures are blurry but the view on the right does appear to show an abrupt, blunt end to the main stem. The problem is trying to extrapolate how far the trunk went beyond the break before splitting up into a bunch of smaller trunks or branches.

    Judging from a close-up views shown to me on a laptop the Stratosphere Giant coast redwood tapers up to a central dead leader, with multiple replacement shoots coming along from around the sides.

  • pineresin

    "There has to have been a trunk there to have snapped off and produced the break in the first place. ... The problem is trying to extrapolate how far the trunk went beyond the break before splitting up into a bunch of smaller trunks or branches"

    Agreed; my point is I consider it can easily be explained by the trunk not needing to have gone beyond its current total height; 101m is enough, it doesn't need to have been 112m.

    Same of course applies (with even greater relevance) to the various historical claims of trees with broken tops "which must have been xxx metres tall [enter whatever outlandish figure you like] before it broke".


  • treeguy123

    They don't needed to go higher but trees technically don't stop growing, they grow slower and more gnarly but they likely don't stop growing until they reach around 390 to 400+ feet maybe, which gravity overcomes the pull of the water. Eucalyptus regnans has had many reports of over 400 feet in history you probably know, but nobody knows if they are true or not, since most all the giant tall trees were logged away.

    But No one can know for sure about its past, so you can't say more realistically from a many broken branch past for sure with out climbing and observing the break up close. I think most likely 340' to 345' (104m to 105m) was that tallest it has possibly ever reached.

    Nobody knows how many Times it has broken its top. This tree could have just broken its main leader only once in the past, for anybody knows. You can't just say once it reaches about 100m it most likely always brakes, because nobody knows.

    It is harder for a tree to pull water up that high which makes the leaves smaller,growth slower, and conditions are harsher, but again you can't just say around 100m it automatically almost always brakes because nobody has a time machine to see at what height it reached in that past and how many times it has broken. Again, this tree could have just broken its main leader only once in the past, for anybody knows. Even the tallest Coast Redwoods usually come to a very narrow tip. Even the tallest tree Hyperion comes to a very narrow point at 379.1 ft (115.6m) Researchers stated that woodpecker damage at the top prevented the tree from reaching 380 feet (115.82 m).

    Hyperion top:

  • mdvaden_of_oregon

    Definitely the 2nd tallest "species" - just saw the clarification on another forum this week.

    Regarding tall trees, I received a list of tallest redwoods, updated October 29, 2008.

    With one tree as recent as this week, spotted with LIDAR and confirmed from the ground.

    See link below, and note MS .doc near the beginning:

    Here is a link that might be useful: Dimensions of Tallest Redwoods

  • philinsydney1

    There is some info on the growth rate of eucs on this link. They only grow strongly for 150-250 years it seems. Also, the tallest trees in Victoria are described; up to 91m.

    btw does anyone know the tallest Douglas fir or Sitka spruce?

  • philinsydney1

    Some more food for thought: a summary of other tall eucs and some flowering species, some from the jungles of Borneo and Malaysia. I wonder how well those jungles have been surveyed?

  • pineresin

    Tallest Douglas-fir: currently 99.4 m to a dead top ("Brummit fir",Brummit Creek, Coos County, Oregon); this one was just over 100m but lost its top. Tallest live foliage currently 96.6 m tall, Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, California.

    Tallest Sitka Spruce: 96.7 m, Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, California.

    Source: Gymnosperm Database.


    Here is a link that might be useful: Gymnosperm Database: Pinaceae (scroll down to 'Big tree' & follow links)

  • johnaberdeen

    My father told me that when he was working for a logging company in the 1930's they cut down a Douglas Fir on the south side of the Black Hills in Washington State that when they got it on the ground it measured 480 feet. Of course I only have my father's word so no proven facts. A book on Northwest logging, I forgot the title but remembered this fact, talked about a Douglas Fir of that height being cut down south of Tacoma Washington. unfortunately, almost all the old growth lowland Douglas firs have been logged, so we will never know if they truely got that big.

    I have included a wikipedia link that states that a study says that Douglas fir has the potential to get 476 feet tall, so there probably were some that big or bigger before they were logged.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Douglas Fir

  • Embothrium

    Growth doesn't even stop at the water cutoff height, it becomes very slow and/or the tree dies back and re-sprouts. These replacement sprouts can sometimes grow comparatively rapidly, even up near the top of a very tall tree. Tips of live trees are always either growing or dying back, no tree stops growing that has live branch tips. Only completely dead trees don't make new growth every year, everywhere on the tree there is live foliage.

    According to Van Pelt, FOREST GIANTS OF THE PACIFIC COAST (2001, Global Forest/Washington)

    The Mineral Tree was the largest Douglas fir ever recorded. It stood near the small logging town of Mineral, southwest of Mount Rainier, and was well known by the locals. Richard McCardle, an early forester at the University of Washington, used to take students to see and measure this tree. Although the top was broken, the piece of it lying on the ground was measured at 168 feet in 1911, and again measured at 160 feet in 1925; the difference was probably owing to the smaller top section having decayed. The standing bole was measured several times, most recently in 1925. This lower section was 225 feet, making the original total height of the tree 393 feet, far taller than any tree living today. Picnickers had the nasty habit of building fires against the tree, which eventually hollowed it out enough for McCardle and a friend to count 1,020 rings before the tree toppled in 1930

  • brandon7 TN_zone

    From Guinness World Records:

    "A Eucalyptus regnans at Mt. Baw Baw, Victoria, Australia, is believed to have measured 143 meters (470 feet) in 1885. Formerly, another Australian eucalyptus, at Watts River, Victoria, almost certainly had been over 150 meters (492 feet) tall."

  • pineresin

    I'd treat all these pre-laser measurement claims with an extremely high level of scepticism.

    Basically, any historical claims over 115m sould be regarded as cr@p and ignored.


  • johnaberdeen

    The trouble is that many talls trees were cut down by logging companies that don't record their height. They record volume of timber they cut but not individuals. So individual loggers might measure a tree after it was down just to see how big of a tree it was, but that is all the further it usually goes.

    A friend of mine told me that when he was working for a small timber company out on the coast of Washington, the owner told him that they measured six Western Red Cedars on a unit they were logging that were bigger than the recorded biggest Western Red Cedar. He said they were going to cut them all down before the tree huggers stopped them, which they did. It's sad that none of us will never see a tree like those again, not even our great grand children.

  • Embothrium

    Good thing they got in there and cleaned those big old trees out before those damned tree huggers - whoever this was supposed to be, specifically - got wind of it. Afterall, money is all that matters.

    Probably all were what should have been considered world heritage specimens, if somebody thought that they compared to one being called something like the world's biggest (see C. Earle's Gymnosperm Database web site - linked to above - and Van Pelt's book for more on the largest existing western redcedars and how they compare to one another).

  • jimmys_2008

    "I'd treat all these pre-laser measurement claims with an extremely high level of scepticism.

    Basically, any historical claims over 115m sould be regarded as cr@p and ignored."

    I understand and support such scepticism, but one needs to realize just how many giants were logged in the past 150 years to gain a better appreciation for some of these historical records.

    I think Van Pelt, and Dr. Al Carder of Victoria would have a slight issue with your statement. Carder grew up as a boy in Surrey, B.C. about the time when many of the last stands of 300 foot + Douglas-fir were logged. He is 98 years old, but remembers seeing many old giants well over 300 feet high. He even saw a photograph in the Vancouver Museum of a fir felled at Lynn Valley in 1902, which measured 415 ft high (including 5 ft stump), and 14 ft 3 inches in diameter at the stump-- [This was the tallest Douglas-fir officially known to him]. Other firs of between 300 and 400 feet were felled in and around Vancouver; Kerrisdale 1896, Lynn Valley 1907, and Cloverdale 1881, among others.

    issafish, I believe 480 feet is a bit fantastic for Douglas-fir, and represents a maximum which even the tallest historical records do not venture. Perhaps you are thinking of the "Nisqually fir" south of Tacoma, Wa. which was measured as a fallen tree at "380" ft in length with steel tape by USFS ranger Edward Tyson Allen (1875-1942) & his party in the year 1900 near the Nisqually river while conducting research on Douglas-fir stands. Your date of 1930's, however, correlates more with the "big fir" at Mineral, Wa. measured by "McCardle" (McArdle, Richard E. USFS Chief from 1952-1962) in 1924-25 and estimated from direct measurement to have stood 393 feet high. It is possible your father is recalling another fir which was previously unrecorded.

    As for the Eucalypt, "Centurion" I think Bob Gordon of Forestry Tasmania is by no means unwarranted in estimating the tree's top having blown out in the last 20 years. He says, "it may actually have been the tallest tree in the world at some stage." Considering it is nearly 300 ft to the original "blown" top, and at that point "roughly" 3 ft in diameter, it certainly would not be exaggerating to postulate a height of 350-365 ft originally.

    Historically speaking, 365 feet is a height at which a number of Eucalyptus Regs at Thorpdale, Gippsland were claimed-- many 250 or 275 ft to the first major branch!--Not to mention the record tree in Moe district situated on the William Cornthwaite property, measured at a standing height of 370 ft, and a felled length of 375 ft (via chain) compliments of George Cornthwaite, William's contract surveyor brother c. 1881-1884. Yet, 5 miles NW of Thorpdale, in the South Yarragon range, a specimen reported at 410 ft in length was claimed by a Mr. John Rollo (early land owner, miner) c. 1889.

    Here is a link that might be useful: {{gwi:329161}}

  • johnaberdeen


    No, my father didn't work at Mineral, WA, but at a small village called Bordeaux, WA, which is just north of Rochester, WA., south of Olympia, WA. It is on the southeast slope of the Black Hills, which are part of the coast range in Washington State. It is between the Willapa hills to the south and the Olympic Mountains to the north. The Chehalis River valley separates the Willapa Hills from the Black Hills.

    The tree he was telling me about grew in a south facing valley with high ridges on either side. When they cut it down, they measured it with a steel tape. His theory as to how it got so tall was that the high ridges protected it from the storms coming out of the west. Most of our strong wind storms come off the Pacific Ocean. These storms are the main reason many of the tall trees lose their tops. This tree didn't have to deal with those storms and it had plenty of moisture living on the bottom of the valley.

    But you are right, it is hard to believe, and I don't have any proof other than my father's word. My family has been logging and being foresters on the coast of Washington since 1900, and have seen plenty of coastal douglas firs three hundred to 400 feet tall, and over twelve feet in diameter during that time period. Even I, as a child in the 50s and early 60s saw 8', 9', or over 12' logs come out of the woods on truck and rail, one log loads. Something you don't see anymore. Even as a child I could tell the difference between a douglas fir, sitka spruce, western red cedar, or a western hemlock log. And people like Van Pelt didn't really exist in those days. If they did, the loggers would have either laught them out of the woods or run them off. It was more a contest of who cut the largest tree and how many board feet of lumber they could get out of it, than anything to do with a contest of largest tree in the world.


  • jimmys_2008


    I am very intrigued with your father's account. A deep valley would certainly protect the tree from wind-- and that is the key ingredient for super height. The 415 foot Douglas fir from British Columbia (Lynn Valley) was also situated in a valley, at the foot of some high mountains. Even Seattle at one time contained some giants, up to 400 ft tall in the deep gulch at Ravenna park until the 1920's.

    I highly value any old records on Douglas fir height and dimensions, because very few have survived over the years or where written down systematically to begin with. I have begun to collect any old records in my database, in an effort to preserve the legacy of these once awesome trees.

    If your father took part in the measurement of this felled tree, and it was absolutely 480 feet, that is a very remarkable fact. The scientific study you referenced is very interesting, and it does give a maximum potential of 435 to 476 ft-- close enough.


  • jimmys_2008

    Did your father recall the butt diameter of that 480 ft tree?

    I'm just curious.


  • johnaberdeen


    He said it was 12' in diameter.


  • jimmys_2008

    12 ft is enormous-- It must have been 500 to a thousand years old to reach that size.

    I live in Portland, and we have some very tall Douglas-fir in Forest Park (left over from logging days), some of them reaching about 225-250 ft tall and 5-7 ft diameter. But to have seen Douglas-fir reaching heights of 415 to 480 feet must have been really amazing in the past. (The tallest building in Portland is 540 ft high).

    Bordeaux was a logging town for 50 years or so, until they closed the mill about the time of WWII. I suppose the big tree would have been taken there. I wonder how many board feet lumber?


  • jimmys_2008


    Not to rehash your father's account, but I am still very interested with your anecdote and I can't quite shake it off my mind. After reviewing my files, this does appear to be the tallest Douglas-fir ever measured.

    Do you have any more details that you might recall about this specific tree?

    Did your father measure any other firs over 400 feet tall?

    Forgive my curiosity, I just don't get the chance to talk to many lumbermen who remember the virgin forest in Washington in the early 20th century. And not a lot of height records survive.

  • johnaberdeen


    Sorry, I don't have much more to say on it. We were talking about Bordeaux, that is where he met my mother. She was a school teacher there. We were also talking about trees. He said he saw lots of really tall trees in that area, didn't say how tall they were. On this tree all he said was that when the faller cut it down they measured it with a steel tape and recorded that length and diameter at the butt. He didn't say if they had cut any other 400 foot trees, just that this was the largest one he saw while working for that company.

    A friend and I are planning later in the year to go down to that area and check out museums and other historical sites to see if we can find any records of such a tree. I don't know if the timber company kept records of tree heights. I am not sure where to begin, but my friend already has done work on this subject for a short video on big trees in the North Bend area. He is now working on one for Western Washington.


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