Michael Taylor and Steve Sillett measured the world’s second tallest known Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) in Redwood National and State Parks this past Saturday, March 26, 2022.
The tree stands 99.3 m tall (325.8 ft) – only 0.2 m (almost 8 inches!) shy of the reigning champion that the duo discovered just this past July 2021 in a remote, rugged drainage in Oregon. Despite its great height, the tree is rather young and small. The tree’s diameter at breast height (dbh) is just 5.5 ft and it only weighs 30 metric tons (vs. 54 metric tons for the tallest in Oregon). The slender prince is probably less than 300 years old, according to Sillett.
As we reported in Episode 1 of our Big Tree Stories, the official list of the tallest trees is constantly updated as Taylor and Sillett continue to unearth magnificent new record-breaking monsters.
The unparalleled growing conditions in Redwood National and State Parks consistently produce the tallest specimens of multiple species. Accordingly, Taylor and Sillett’s explorations on Saturday yielded more than one great find. A second Douglas-fir measured 95.4 m (313.0 ft), which makes it the eighth tallest of its kind for now. Two stunning Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) both topped out at 95.5 m (313.3 ft), making them among only a handful of spruce trees known over 95 m tall.
The men were overjoyed by their spectacular discoveries. True to form, Sillett said, “We were hooting and hollering!”
Unfortunately, a slight damper was put on the expedition when Taylor plunged into a hole hidden by ferns and twisted his knee on the hike out. Undeterred by the perils of big tree hunting in dense, treacherous woods, he quipped, “Overall it was a great day.”
The pair will undoubtedly have more wondrous finds to report once Taylor is bounding around in the woods again.