The 10 Largest Trees in the World

Written by Kyle Glatz
Updated: November 2, 2022
© Stephen Moehle/Shutterstock.com
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Trees are homes to animals, carbon sinks, natural beauties, and a source of wood for humans since the dawn of our race. When looking up at a very tall tree, it’s hard not to feel an overwhelming sense of smallness. However, some trees are simply massive, making all the other trees around them seem small in comparison. Take a look at the 10 largest trees in the world and then compare them to the trees around your home; you’ll probably be surprised at how big trees get!

How Do We Define the Largest Trees in the World?

When we talk about the largest trees in the world, we’re not necessarily talking about the tallest. We’re speaking about the tree that has the largest volume from a single stem, and that is a hard measurement to come by. Nevertheless, we have managed to gather data about the largest trees in the world by Bole Volume.

The 10 Largest Trees in the World

The 10 largest trees in the world are all from the same tree species: giant sequoias. In fact, the first tree that would appear on this list that does not come from this species is the coastal redwood. It would rank 13th in terms of the largest trees. Many of these trees are near one another in the United States, and they have been organized into groves with named trees.

Thus, it’s easy for us to identify the trees by their names and location, making it easier to address each. As you will see all these giant sequoias are vast and named for famous figures in the United States’ history. Furthermore, a wildfire in 2020, called the Castle Fire, completely destroyed the King Arthur tree, the former 9th largest along with 10 percent of all giant sequoias in California. Thus, we have updated the list to include the largest trees still standing as of 2022.  

10. Robert E. Lee

Robert E. Lee is the 10th largest tree in the world.

©Pierrette Guertin/Shutterstock.com

Volume m3Height mCircumference m
1,13577.626.9

Like all the other trees here, Robert E. Lee is a giant sequoia. This tree was named for the Confederate general that led the Army of Northern Virginia. This tree is located in the Garfield Grove, a massive grove of trees that is located near the town of Three Rivers, California.

9. Monroe

Volume m3Height mCircumference m
1,13575.527.8

The Monroe is another giant sequoia that is located in California. This tree is located in the Giant Forest Grove which is in the United States’ Sequoia National Park. The tree has a similar volume to Robert E. Lee, but it has been measured to be slightly more by a difference of 2 cubic feet. Monroe was named after James Monroe, the 5th president of the United States.

8. Franklin

Surprisingly, Franklin has not attracted a great deal of lightning.

©Bradluke22 / This work has been released into the public domain by its author, Bradluke22 at English Wikipedia. This applies worldwide. In some countries this may not be legally possible; if so: Bradluke22 grants anyone the right to use this work for any purpose, without any conditions, unless such conditions are required by law.

Volume m3Height mCircumference m
1,16968.228.9

The third entry on our list of the biggest trees in the world, Franklin is a tree that has its home in Giant Forest Grove alongside Monroe and many others. The tree’s volume is 1,169, a fair difference from the next tree even though it lacks the height of the other two. This tree is named for the statesman Benjamin Franklin, a signer of the Declaration of Independence.

7. Genesis

This tree bears a unique name, and its volume will need to be re-calculated

©Mikesclark / Creative Commons – License

Volume m3Height mCircumference m
1,18677.126

Genesis is a giant sequoia that was named after the first book of the Bible. The tree has a large volume and a sizeable height. Unfortunately, the tree is probably going to drop down the list in coming years as it sustained a great deal of damage as a result of the Castle Fire in 2020. This devastating wildfire did a lot of damage to Mountain Grove Home, the grove of trees where Genesis and many other large trees are located.

6. Boole

Boole was named for the man who saved it from destruction

©Bradluke22 / This work has been released into the public domain by its author, Bradluke22 at English Wikipedia. This applies worldwide. In some countries this may not be legally possible; if so: Bradluke22 grants anyone the right to use this work for any purpose, without any conditions, unless such conditions are required by law.

Volume m3Height mCircumference m
1,20281.934.4

The tree named Boole is located in Converse Basin Grove, another grove of sequoias located in Fresno County, California. This tree has the largest circumference of any living giant sequoia. This tree was not named for a president or famous general. Instead, this tree gets its name from Franklin A. Boyle.

He was the individual in charge of the local logging operation tasked with felling trees in the grove. Instead of taking the tree down, Boyle spared the tree, and it was later named in his honor by A.H. Sweeny, a doctor from Fresno.  

5. Stagg

In a sea of unusual names, Stagg stands out since he was a mere football coach

©Bradluke22 / This work has been released into the public domain by its author, Bradluke22 at English Wikipedia. This applies worldwide. In some countries this may not be legally possible; if so: Bradluke22 grants anyone the right to use this work for any purpose, without any conditions, unless such conditions are required by law.

Volume m3Height mCircumference m
1,20574.133.2

The fifth-largest tree in the world is called Stagg. This sixth entry on our list of the biggest trees in the world is named for a football coach from the University of Chicago, rather than a historical figure. The tree is located in the Alder Creek Grove, another famous area in California where giant sequoias grow. The official name for the tree is the Amos Alonzo Stagg Tree. This tree, like many others, was in danger from the Castle Fire of 2020, but it was saved by firefighters that established a sprinkler system when the fire was poised to encroach on the grove.

4. Lincoln

Lincoln has been burned by many wildfires

©daveynin / flickr – License

Volume m3Height mCircumference m
1,2597830

The tree called Lincoln is another member of the Giant Forest Grove that contains so many of the largest trees in the world. The tree was named for Abraham Lincoln, the former president of the United States who freed the slaves and had his life ended by an assassin. Such a tall tree should be named for a man that was so tall himself. The tree is noteworthy because it has survived so many fires that its base is irregular and covered with burns on all but its eastern face.

3. President

Although it refers to Warren G. Harding, President is every president’s tree

©iStock.com/Karel Stipek

Volume m3Height mCircumference m
1,27873.428.3

The President tree is also located in the Giant Forest Grove in California. It’s not as tall as some of the others on this list, but it’s stouter than most. This tree is also the oldest living sequoia tree in the world, believed to be around 3,200 years old. Although the name is simply president, this tree was named during the years when Warren G. Harding was president. Thus, it’s named for his specific presidency.

2. General Grant

General Grant’s massive tree was once called the Nation’s Christmas Tree

©iStock.com/StevenSchremp

Volume m3Height mCircumference m
1,31981.732.8

The last of the trees named for presidents is the General Grant. This tree is named for Ulysses S. Grant, a military officer during the American Civil War and later the president of the United States. This tree is located in the General Grant Grove, part of the Kings Canyon National Park. General Grant is sometimes referred to as the “Nation’s Christmas Tree”, a tradition stemming from President Calvin Coolidge in 1926.

1. General Sherman

General Sherman is a large tree named for a powerful man

©zdenekkounovsky/Shutterstock.com

Volume m3Height mCircumference m
1,48683.831.3

The largest tree in the world is General Sherman. This massive tree has a volume of 1,486 cubic meters, over 100 more than the previous entry. The tree is located in the Sequoia National Park’s Giant Forest Grove in California.

It is in distinguished company since four more of the world’s largest giants also call the aptly named Grove home. The tree itself is named for Union Army General William Tecumseh Sherman who won a resounding victory against General Johnston at the costly Battle of Shiloh.

General Sherman (the tree in this case, and not the historical figure), is estimated to be about 2,700 years old and is still growing! It is also quite a survivor having endured a lightning strike which set its upper canopy aflame in 2003 and weathered a storm which divested it of its branches in 2005.

What Is the Largest Tree in the World?

The largest tree in the world is a giant sequoia that is called General Sherman. It has a volume of 1,486m3 making it the tree with the greatest volume of wood in the world. This and many other large trees are located in various giant sequoia groves located throughout California.

What Is the Tallest Tree in the World?

Largest Tree - Hyperion Tree
The Hyperion tree is the world’s tallest tree at 380 feet.

©Stephen Moehle/Shutterstock.com

The tallest tree in the world is known as Hyperion. This tree’s true location is hidden because of worries that it would attract people that would harm the tree. This tree is 115 meters (380 feet) tall and is located in the Redwood National Forest in California, United States.

What is the Oldest Tree in the World?

The oldest tree in the world is a 4,863-year-old tree called Methuselah, named after a biblical figure. This is a bristlecone pine tree that is growing in the White Mountains. Interestingly, this tree is also located in California.

What is the Stoutest Tree in the World?

The stoutest tree in the world is the Arbol del Tule, a tree with a diameter of 11.62 meters or 38.1 feet. The stoutest trees are indicative of a measure of a single trunk’s diameter.

Other Trees With Impressive Sizes

The biggest baobab in the world, the Sagole Baobab is located in South Africa’s Limpopo Province. And with a diameter of 10.47 meters, it is pretty close to the Arbol del Thule, the biggest tree in the world in terms of trunk width.

The tallest mountain ash in the world, Centurion, situated in Tasmania’s Arve Valley, stands at 100.5 meters or 330 feet. Its height means it is 15.40 meters shorter than the biggest tree in the world in terms of height, Hyperion (115.92 meters), and the second tallest tree on the globe.

Final Thoughts on the 10 Largest Trees in the World

The list of the largest trees in the world might seem a little anticlimactic to some because they’re all the same species of tree. Expanding past the top 10 largest trees would see the inclusion of far more tree types such as redwoods, mountain ash, and spruce trees.

The list of the tallest trees has changed significantly in recent years due to lightning strikes that have caused some trees to lose volume and others to burn down entirely. The list will likely see updates in the future as damage from large fires is measured.

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The Featured Image

Largest Tree - Hyperion Tree
© Stephen Moehle/Shutterstock.com

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About the Author

I'm a freelance writer with 8 years of experience. I've written in a variety of niches such as video games, animals, and managed service providers. I graduated from Rowan University in 2014 with degrees in English and Education. When I'm not working, I enjoy playing video games, reading, and writing for fun.

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