Height of greenery: China's tallest tree discovered in Tibet
Scientists have finally discovered the tallest tree in China: a 83.4-meter green fir tree in southwestern Tibet Autonomous Region. Its height is approximately equivalent to a 28-story building.
Scientifically named "Abies ernestii var. salouenensis," the Chinese name of the tree is "Yunnan huangguo lengshan (云南黄果冷杉)," a unique Chinese species from the green fir family.
One of the scientists on the tree.
Scientists climbed up the tallest tree to measure its height and took samples for further study.
Discovered by a scientific investigation team comprising several institutions, such as the Institute of Botany under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wild China Film and Shanghai Chenshan Botanical Garden, the tree was first discovered in May, when its height was measured at 83.2 meters by a drone.
The tree stands out from a giant fir tree forest in Zayu Town, exceeding the height of a fir tree in Taiwan that is about 81 meters tall.
In August, the team headed to Zayu again to measure the tree manually. The final conclusion found that it was actually 20 centimeters taller.
At an altitude of around 2.3 kilometers, Zayu boasts a mild climate, suitable geological environment and little human intervention that allows forests to grow freely. The average height of trees in the forest in which the tallest tree was discovered is around 70 meters.
The tallest tree itself has become home to more than 50 species of plants, though only a few can be seen in the pictures.National Wild Plant Germplasm Resource Chenshan Center / Ti Gong
Plants that are growing on the tallest tree
The fir trees themselves have become home to other plants – on the tallest tree, more than 50 species of higher plants, such as climbers, ferns and parasitic plants, have settled.
The samples collected from the forest, including two new species found in China, are now undergoing further research at the Chinese Field Herbarium and Chenshan Botanical Garden.
The tallest tree in the world currently is a 115.8-meter coastal redwood named Hyperion growing in California, United States, discovered by naturalists Chris Atkins and Michael Taylor in 2006.
While in Asia, the tallest tree is a yellow meranti tree named Menara. Found in the Danum Valley Conservation Area of Malaysia, it was measured at 100.8 meters, which makes it the tallest tree in Asia as well as the world's tallest known living tropical tree.