Trees span the world covering parts of all the continents except Antarctica. They are the main sources of building materials for humans and protection for animals. Trees come in all shapes and sizes; some are known for producing fruit while others are remembered for their stunning colorful leaves. Teaching children about trees is an important task for all adults to undertake, and it can also be a fun one.
The tallest living tree is called Hyperion and it is an old growth redwood tree located in the Redwood National Forest in Humboldt County, California. This tree is actually six stories higher than the Statue of Liberty. Hyperion was measured at 379.1 feet in height.
The United States harvests Christmas trees in 48 of its 50 states; Hawaii and Alaska do not produce Christmas trees. The top Christmas tree producing state is Oregon with more than 8 million trees cultivated. Other top states are California, Michigan, Washington, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and North Carolina. The very first Christmas tree lot was in New York in 1851.
The world’s oldest living tree resides in Sweden. It is a 13-foot-tall conifer tree that actually isn’t very old, but its root system started growing with the last ice age. That would make this tree’s roots 9,550 years old. The Norway spruce tree is known to only live about 600 years, but when the tree dies its roots produce another seedling; therefore, the newest visible part of the tree was found at an altitude of 2,985 feet in Dalarna Province. This type of tree is a traditional Christmas tree in Europe.
The Tree of a Thousand Horses holds the world’s record as the tree with the most girth. It had a circumference measurement of 190 feet recorded in 1780. Sometime after the measurement was made, the tree split into three separate parts. This tree was found on Mount Etna in Sicily, Italy, and is a European chestnut tree.
A method used to verify the age of a tree is to count the rings in the tree’s trunk. The world record for the highest counted rings was on a bristlecone pine called Prometheus. This tree was chopped down in 1963. Its ring count was 4,867 and it was located on Mount Wheeler, Nevada.
The fastest growing tree was found in Sabah, Malaysia. It is an Albizzia falcate tree identified in 1974. This tree’s daily growth rate was about 1.1 inches; in only 13 months the tree had shot up 35 feet 3 inches.
The slowest growing tree in the world is found in the Canadian Great Lakes region. During its lifetime of 155 years, this white cedar tree only reached the height of 4 inches with a weight of 0.6 oz.