Scientists discover, climb and describe the world’s tallest tropical tree.

The world’s tallest tropical tree. Image © Dr Alexander Shenkin

Scientists in the UK and Malaysia have discovered the world’s tallest tropical tree, and possibly the tallest flowering plant, measuring over 100 metres high. Laid down, it would extend beyond both goals on a football pitch.

The team found the tree in the rainforests of Sabah, Malaysian Borneo, and have undertaken a novel three-dimensional exploration of the remarkable find to better understand how trees grow so tall, and what keeps them from growing taller.

The tree is a Shorea faguetiana (common name Yellow Meranti), of the Dipterocarpacae family that dominates the humid lowland rainforests of South East Asia. Previous record breakers have largely come from the same genus (Shorea) and region.

The team has given the tree the name of ‘Menara’, which is Malay for ‘tower’.

World’s Tallest tree video

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© University of Oxford / Dr Alexander Shenkin