It’s definitely a contender. Africa’s tallest indigenous tree – measuring a whopping 81.5 metres – has been discovered in a remote valley on the continent’s highest mountain, Kilimanjaro.
The colossus in Tanzania has matched Africa’s previous tree-height record established by a specimen of the introduced Sydney blue gum (Eucalyptus saligna) in Limpopo, South Africa, which died in 2006.
Andreas Hemp at the University of Bayreuth in Germany first spotted a bunch of tall Entandrophragma excelsum trees while exploring Mount Kilimanjaro’s vegetation 20 years ago. But it was not until recently that he and his team were able to measure their heights accurately using new tools.
They sized 32 specimens with laser instruments between 2012 and 2016, finding that the 10 tallest individuals ranged from 59.2 to 81.5 metres in height and 0.98 to 2.55 metres in diameter. Hemp estimates from growth rates that the arboreal behemoths are between 500 and 600 years old.
The …
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