By Riyaz ul Khaliq
ANKARA (AA) – Scientists claim to have discovered the world’s tallest tropical tree in Malaysia.
According to a report by National Geographic, a team of researchers from the Universities of Nottingham and Oxford working with the South East Asia Rainforest Research Partnership has discovered a 330.7-foot (100.8-meter) giant tree in forests of Sabah, a Malaysian state located on the island of Borneo.
The new research about exceptionally tall growing trees is being published in the BioRxiv science journal this week, the report added.
“This discovery is the first 100-meter tropical tree (and the world's tallest known flowering plant) recorded anywhere in the world,” the researchers said.
“If it were laid along the ground the tree would be longer than a soccer field. The team named the tree ‘Menara’ which is the Malaysian word for tower. They estimated it weighs 81,500 kilograms, or more than the maximum takeoff weight of a Boeing 737-800, excluding roots,” the report said.
Until now, yellow meranti trees (Shorea faguetiana) were said to be tallest tropical trees in the world which also grew on the same island.
The recorded height of an individual yellow meranti tree jumped from 288 feet (88 meters) to 308.7 feet (94.1 meters) in 2016, when an entire grove of 90-meter (295-feet) plus yellow meranti were found.
The National Geographic said that an individual giant yellow meranti tree is so large that it can contain its own ecosystem consisting of over 1,000 types of insects, fungi, and plants.
Explaining the procedure of measurement of trees, it said: “These exceptionally tall trees were spotted by laser scanning the forest from an airplane in 2018. Three dimensional images are built up of the forest canopy, and slowly the giants pop out of the image. However, when laser scanning reveals an exceptionally tall tree, proof of its actual height is gathered in a remarkably low-tech way; someone climbs up the tree with a tape measure.”
The tallest known trees are California redwoods, which have been measured up to 379.7 feet, or 115.7 meters.