Forget the Big Banana, the Big Merino, even the Big Potato, Australia can now claim the big tree as one of its iconic landmarks.
Australia’s tallest tree, named Centurion, is finally living up to its lofty name and has just been measured at 100.9m tall. Not only does this make Centurion a massive tree, but it also means Tasmania joins Northern California in holding the only trees over 100m in height on the planet!
This momentous milestone was recorded by two Tasmanians, Steven Pearce from The Tree Projects and Yoav Daniel Bar-Ness from Giant Tree Expeditions. The pair used state of the art laser range-finders to measure the tree. They combined more than 311 laser-range finder shots and rigorous scientific methodology to determine the measurement.
‘For us Tasmanians it’s a true moment of pride, we cut down trees much taller than this in the past without much regard. So this is comparable to finding a live Tasmanian Tiger, a relic from a bygone era returned in this modern age. This tree is a true symbol of Australia’s natural heritage that we can now claim again and its significance as an individual tree can not be overstated.’
— Steven Pearce
Tasmania is home to four of the world’s top 10 tallest tree species, with Centurion leading the way for Eucalyptus regnans. The tree itself stands 200 metres from a fresh Sustainable Timbers Tasmania clear fell and just 60 minutes drive from the centre of Hobart. It has no formed track leading to it or facilities to manage visitor impacts.
‘It’s an amazing tree, and it’s tremendously exciting to share this tree’s story with the world. It can’t speak for itself but we can all be inspired and enthused by its resilience and presence.’
— Daniel Bar-Ness
Remember, if you go check out the big tree, make sure to tread lightly, respect the environment and leave no trace.
Australia’s Tallest Tree — Fact File
- Centurion, Eucalyptus regnans — Swamp Gum, TAS — Mountain Ash, VIC
- Tallest tree in the Southern Hemisphere
- Tallest tree outside of Northern California
- Second tallest tree species on the planet after the Californian Redwood (115m)
- Current height: 100.9m
- Found and measured in 2008 by LiDAR survey: 99.6m
- Measured by tape measure in 2014: 99.82m
- Current circumference at breast height: 13.38m
- Current diameter at breast height: 4.26m
- Age: 320 +/- 60 years (Sillet et al. 2015)
- Volume: 122.45 ± 3.07 thousand kg of biomass
- Number of leaves: 1.56 ± 0.16 million
- Number of Eucalypts higher than 90m in Tasmania: 24
All photos by The Tree Projects
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