Trees are the often underappreciated hard workers of the plant world. They clean the air, help keep our cities (and planet) cool, and are just pleasant to be around.
Trees are everywhere too. Across the planet, there are more than three trillion! So it’s pretty easy to not even notice the trees in our midst. It makes it even easier to not notice some of the world’s most impressive, unique trees.
Some are old, some are huge, and some are sacred. Here are the 7 more unique trees.
1. Hyperion, the tallest tree.
Hyperion is the name given to a coastal redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) located in Northern California. It is 379.1 feet tall, making it the tallest living tree on the planet. It was discovered by Chris Atkins and Michael Taylor in Redwood National Park in 2006.
Hyperion is unusual because it lives on a hillside rather than flat land. It’s also lucky – 96% of the original growth forest immediately surrounding it has been logged.
2. General Sherman, the largest tree.
Also located in Northern California, General Sherman, also located in California, is the largest tree on the planet having lived somewhere between 2300 and 2700 years.
It is also the largest tree by volume. It’s 275 feet tall with a diameter of 25 feet. Its estimated volume is 52,513 cubic feet. That’s a lot of tree!
3. Pando, the oldest organism.
Pando is the oldest living organism on the planet. Pando, meaning “I spread” in Latin, isn’t actually a single tree but an entire colony of quaking aspen trees.
Located in Utah, Pando is estimated to be 80,000 years old and is made up entirely of genetically identical trees. Some estimates of the 105-acre colony date it back as far as a million years ago.
Pando is also the heaviest living organism.
4. Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi, the most sacred tree.
It’s hard to determine exactly which is the most sacred tree, but far and away the most revered and worshiped is Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi, a fig tree located in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. It is the southernmost branch of the Bodhi tree in India, under which Buddha attained Enlightenment.
The tree was planted in 288 BC, making it the oldest tree intentionally planted by humans. It is revered by Buddhists worldwide.
5. Methuselah, the world’s oldest tree.
Methuselah, located in Northern California, is a bristlecone pine located at an undisclosed location 10,000 feet above sea level in Inyo National Forest in California.
It is estimated that Methuselah is around 5,000 years old.
Its location is kept secret to protect it from the destructive behavior of some humans. No photographs have been made public of the tree, so we can’t even say what it looks like.