A ring of sequoia trees seen from below.
North America’s northwestern coast seems to be a whole treasure trove when it comes to trees as most of the world’s tallest (and oldest) can be found here. We’ve focused on the world’s tallest, measured from top to bottom, rather than the stoutest trees, measured by girth. Lord of the Rings fans who love the Ents will enjoy this post!
Image: A. Poulos
6. Giant Sequoia – 94.8 m (311 ft)
A Giant Sequoia in California’s Mariposa Big Trees Park.
Our first candidate is a Giant Sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum). These trees are also called Sierra redwoods or Wellingtonians and reach average heights of 50–85 m (165–280 ft). The oldest known Giant Sequoia is 3,500 years old and the tallest one grows at Redwood Mountain Grove in California’s King’s Canyon National Park.
Giant sequoias regenerate through seeds and a large tree can be expected to have thousands of seeds at any given point in time – around 11,000 cones. Their natural distribution is limited to the western Sierra Nevada and their conservation status has been determined as vulnerable.
Image: Tom Harpel
5. The Carmanah Giant and other Sitka Spruces – 96 m (315 ft)
A dead Sitka Spruce on Lake Quinault, still standing.
The Sitka Spruce (Picea sitchensis) is the third tallest conifer species in the world (after the Coast Redwood and Coast Douglas-fir), growing 50–70 m (165–231 ft) tall and occasionally up to 100 m tall. It is a native of North America’s west coast and can be found as far up north as Alaska’s Kodiak Island – its name pointing to these roots from the community of Sitka in Alaska.