The tallest of them all

WORLD'S TALLEST TREE

A tree named Hyperion holds the title of being the tallest in the world. The coastal redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) named after a Greek titan was discovered in 2006 in Redwood National Park, California. It stands at a lofty 115m.

According to Mr Wong Tuan Wah, Group Director, Conservation, at the National Parks Board (NParks), it is a long-lived tree and is known to grow at a fast rate of up to 2m per year.

Its exact location is not made publicly known for fear that the tree might be harmed.

SINGAPORE'S TALLEST TREE

Found in the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, the tallest tree in Singapore is a 60m Shorea curtisii.

Standing at roughly the height of a 20-storey HDB block, the tree is native to Singapore and is at least 150 years old.

It is classified as vulnerable.

With its characteristic greyish- green crown atop a tall, straight trunk covered in fissured bark, it is also the most common dipterocarp (a family of trees) at the nature reserve, said Mr Wong.

"While we do not have the exact number of Shorea curtisii in Singapore, an inventory of big trees (defined as trees of at least 1m in trunk circumference measured at 1.3m above ground level) at the Reserve recorded more than 900 Shorea curtisii," he said.

More than 95 per cent of the Shorea curtisii in Singapore are within the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, with the rest growing in the Central Catchment Nature Reserve and the Singapore Botanic Gardens, he added.

Carolyn Khew

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 24, 2017, with the headline 'The tallest of them all'. Print Edition | Subscribe