Monday, May 16, 2011

Tallest Tree in the World

So where is the tallest tree in the world? Somehow I think it might be in California, but I am not sure why I think that. It might be a sequoia tree?

But back 19th century the tallest tree in the world was just a couple of hours drive from here in a town I remember a little as they were members of our local football league and I spent some boring Saturday afternoon childhood years there. Thorpdale is a very rich soil potato growing area. I think dairy farming happens there too.

The tallest tree in the world was a mountain ash tree, Eucalyptus regnans, was found near Thorpdale and a surveyor with a theodolite checked its height and found it to be 114 metres tall, 375 feet.

So back in 1880 what did they do with the tallest tree in the world? A plaque? Cut a tourist road through the bush for people to see it? Build a tree top walk way? Nah, none of the above. Australia being unfortunately full of Australians ever back then, they cut it down of course.

There are taller trees in the world now, but if the tree was not chopped down, it may well be competing against California's sequoias. Thorpdale would truly be on the world map and in every edition of Trivial Pursuit.

I remember my father complaining about mountain ash trees. Hard as a rock and blunt your saw in five minutes and they won't burn either. Mountain ash are still the tallest hardwood trees in the world.

Later edit: Jayne found this marvellous link to more about the tree.

6 comments:

  1. The world’s tallest tree is the Mendocino. It is a coastal redwood near Ukiah, California. It is 367-foot 6 inches tall, or five stories higher than the Statue Liberty. The location is difficult to get to & a bit of a secret.

    I like them big.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The southern forests of Tassie are littered with rather tall E. regnans and delegatensis. None of them seem to top out over 100m, but I understand some come damn close. My understanding is they make excellent toothpicks, with each tree able to be milled into at least one packet each...

    I might be getting this wrong, but I believe the tree you mentioned is now partly on display in Campbell Town - why? No idea.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Found a great webpage with pics of the 'smaller' siblings and info on the Thorpdale tree - HERE.
    Thanks for this, made for great reading :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I had no idea sequoias grew in California; I thought they were only in Canada.
    I love really big trees. I'm fond of saying things like - imagine cutting down only one tree and having enough timber to build a house and furnish it! Not that I would do such a thing. Any house I could afford to build would be rammed earth, surrounded by the tall trees.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I knew sequoias were the biggest, but didn't realise they were the tallest!!

    What a bummer - visiting the world's tallest tree would have made a good post for my blog. Sadly, visiting the site where the world's tallest tree once stood just doesn't do it. Or does it?!?!?!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Nothing like a big trunk Stephen. For us non imperial types, that is 112 metres.

    One packet of toothpicks Me? I am wondering if huon pine is normally very tall? You did leave a couple standing didn't you?

    Great link Jayne, I will add it to the post.

    River, I assume you would want the timber milled and not hollowed out for you to live in.

    Red, I was obviously a significant find back then. How could they have possible chopped it down? I remember a huge tree trunk near Icy Creek in Vic. It had a naturally hollowed out middle and it was big enough for a man to live in, in fact a gold miner did.

    ReplyDelete