Monday, October 16, 2006

Tallest Tree almost 400 feet --

World's tallest tree

Researchers have confirmed that a redwood named Hyperion in a remote Northern California forest is the world's tallest tree.

Steve Sillett, a forestry professor at Humboldt State University, recently climbed Hyperion and measured it at 379.1 feet, one foot taller than previously thought.

Hyperion, which grows in Redwood National Park, edged aside the previous record holder, a 370.5-foot redwood called Stratosphere Giant in nearby Humboldt State Park.

Researchers had to wait until the end of the endangered marbled murrelet's nesting season to measure Hyperion and confirm its status as the world's tallest living thing.

If it weren't for damage caused by woodpeckers at its top, Hyperion could have reached 380 feet, researchers said.

Michael Taylor and Chris Atkins, the naturalists who initially found Hyperion, said the chances of finding a taller living organism are slim because they have already searched about 95 percent of the prime habitat for big redwoods.

Officials would not pinpoint the exact location of Hyperion because they are worried that too many visitors could damage the tree's delicate ecosystem.

Picture Credit Treehugger

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