Humans love world records. We’re obsessed by them. When we break competitive records, for instance at the Olympics, it dominates our news channels and the front pages of our newspapers. Records don’t only gain our attention in the sporting world too. At one time or another, we’ve all watched videos or read articles about the world’s tallest man, smallest woman, and oldest dog. Every year, we see people bettering old records, as we push back on the limits of what we consider possible. Outside of human endeavor we also frequently find natural records fascinating.
In the natural world, trees are some of the biggest winners when it comes to world records. From their position as the tallest beings on our planet, to the longest lived, trees are pretty good at what they do: grow. That’s good news for us, since we rely on trees to protect us from soil erosion, droughts, and water catchment. That’s without even mentioning their role in capturing carbon and providing us with oxygen to breathe.
Today, we take a few minutes to appreciate just how naturally awesome trees can be. Let’s take a look at some of the records held by these magnificent beings, with the Guinness Book of World Records able to verify all these.
Empress Tree – fastest grower
As royal as its name, an explosion of royal purple from full foxglove-like blooms gives the Empress tree its name. The Empress tree grows at incredible speed; as it increases in height by half a meter a month. That’s more than 1 cm of growth a day, until it reaches maturity at about 12 meters.
Impressively, they are also the champions at producing precious oxygen, giving out 3 to 4 times more than any other species.
If you follow TreeCoin, you’ll know that the Eucalyptus tree is also a sprinter at growth. While not quite the speedy spurter as the Empress, Eucalyptus can grow from 5 to 7 meters a year! For practical and commercial purposes, the Eucalyptus is a far superior tree. Unlike the Empress, Eucalyptus timber and pulp make great construction materials and is treasured in the lumber industry. So for us, Eucalyptus is very much a champion in its own right!
Hyperion – tallest living organism
The Empress tree might get to 12 meters quickly, but that’s nowhere nearly as impressive a redwood tree named Hyperion.
At 115.54 meters, Hyperion is the world’s tallest living organism, dwarfing the world’s tallest animal (giraffe) by some distance. Researchers only discovered it in 2006 in California’s Redwood National Park. It is a living survivor of the original population that once stretched an incredible 450 miles along the Pacific coast. Isn’t it a shame 95% of that is already gone thanks to human logging activities?
Polylepis tomentella – highest living organism
Hyperion may reach out to the skies, but the Polylepis literally live above the clouds. These majestic trees grow naturally in the central Andes, and can live up to 7 centuries. You can find them at altitudes of 17,000 feet — that’s an incredible 5 km above sea level!
For most humans, that’s an unbeatable record, unless of course you feel comfortable living at the peak of Everest.
Prometheus – oldest living being
The bristlecone pine is known for its longevity, and its oldest known specimen was a tree named Prometheus. At approximately 5,200 years old, this tree started life just as Egypt’s first Pharaoh dynasty began, and Stonehenge started construction in 3200 BC!
Compare that to the oldest person record-holder, Jiroemon Kimura, who “only” managed 116 years. Jiroemon would need to live his entire life 45 times just to catch up with Prometheus.
Unfortunately, scientists cut down the ancient tree in 1963 — verifying its age from its tree rings. A living tree of the same species is just over 5,000 years old but people are keeping its location secret to protect it from the same fate as Prometheus.
Beyond world records: TreeCoin’s mission
Competition is part of our human DNA, and there’s nothing wrong with striving to become better. It is this spirit of improvement that has motivated TreeCoin in our work. We are committed to improving the state of our planet with aforestation and tree-planting. Not all trees are record breakers, but each and every one is a valued player participant our planet’s delicate ecosystem.
We hope that our updates and progress inspire you to invest with us. After all, an investment in your planet is an investment in your future and the future of generations to come.