What’s the Largest Redwood Tree?

Written by Colby Maxwell
Published: February 6, 2023
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There probably isn’t a more majestic tree in the world than the redwood tree. These absolutely gigantic trees are among the largest “things” to have ever existed. Can you believe they are still around for human eyes to see today?

With their towering reputation, redwood trees have become the main focus of many environmental groups. In the following article, we are going to learn a little about these magnificent trees. We’ll cover largest redwood tree and other fun facts about these majestic trees.

The Tallest Redwood in the World

Hyperion Tree

At 381 feet tall, Hyperion is the tallest tree in California and the world.

©Stephen Moehle/Shutterstock.com

The tallest redwood tree in the world is named Hyperion, a coast redwood measuring at over 379.7 feet tall. It was discovered in 2006 by two naturalists in a remote part of the Redwood National Park. Hyperion is over 100 feet taller than it’s competition when considering the “tallest” redwood tree in the world.

The Largest Redwood Tree in the World

Although Hyperion is the tallest, it isn’t necessarily the biggest. That honor belongs to General Sherman.

General Sherman is considered one of the largest and most massive trees in the world. It has a height of about 275 feet and a diameter of about 36 feet at the base. It is estimated to be between 2,300 and 2,700 years old. The General Sherman tree is named after General William Tecumseh Sherman. This man was a Civil War general, and it is a popular tourist destination.

The tree is not the tallest but it is considered to be one of the largest “things” in the world. It has an estimated volume of about 52,500 cubic feet, making it the largest living single stem tree in the world by volume.

The Three Tallest Tree Species in the World

Although “redwoods” are often thought to be a single species, there are actually three types that live in different places!

The dawn redwood is a tree species that was thought to have gone extinct millions of years ago, but was rediscovered in 1944 in China. It is now used as an ornamental tree since it is much smaller than it’s cousins in North America.

Coast redwoods are the second species and are usually the tallest of them all. Hyperion is a coast redwood, for example. These trees are found in nutrient rich soil along the coast of the Pacific Ocean on the western coast of the United States.

Although not as tall but usually overall larger, is the giant sequoia. The giant sequoia is extremely quick-growing and can live for thousands of years. They are found in central California.

Why Do Redwoods Get So Huge?

Famous Sequoia park and giant sequoia tree at sunset.

Redwoods add layers of new wood to the outside of their trunk rather than widening at the base like other trees.


Redwoods, such as the coast redwood and giant sequoia, are able to grow to enormous sizes due to a combination of factors. Their deep root systems allow them to access water and nutrients from deep in the soil, while their thick, fibrous bark provides protection from fire and pests.

Additionally, their unique method of growth, in which they add layers of new wood to the outside of their trunk rather than widening at the base, allows them to continue growing taller even as they age. The favorable climate conditions of the coast and the Sierra Nevada mountain range also contribute to the growth of these trees. In addition, they can live up to thousands of years which gives them enough time to grow this big.

Are Redwood Trees Still Being Cut Down?

Redwoods are not currently considered to be threatened as a species. However, there are concerns about the overall health and preservation of redwood forest ecosystems. Logging and development have greatly reduced the range of coast redwoods, which are found mainly in California.

The giant sequoia, which is another type of redwood tree, is not currently considered to be threatened either, but there are concerns about the impacts of climate change on this species. Conservation efforts are ongoing to protect and restore redwood forest habitats.

Where to See Redwoods in Real Life

Redwood trees are truly incredible and deserve to be seen in real life!

The coast redwoods can mainly be found in California, specifically in Redwood National and State Parks and Humboldt Redwoods State Park. The giant sequoia can be found in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks and the Sierra National Forest in California. There are also other smaller pockets of redwoods in California and Oregon.

Standing next to one of these ancient and massive trees reminds us of just how important it is to conserve our natural heritage.

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The photo featured at the top of this post is © IM_photo/Shutterstock.com

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About the Author

Colby is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering outdoors, unique animal stories, and science news. Colby has been writing about science news and animals for five years and holds a bachelor's degree from SEU. A resident of NYC, you can find him camping, exploring, and telling everyone about what birds he saw at his local birdfeeder.

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