Wow! Gigantic Tree in the Amazon: Over 290 Feet

One of the Dinizia excelsa or angelim vermelho trees, which can grow over 80 meters. The tallest, as measured by satellite, towered 88.5 meters above the forest floor. (Tobias Jackson)

Researchers Discover the Tallest Known Tree in the Amazon

by Jill Langlois

Sheer curiosity led Eric Bastos Gorgens and his team to the tallest tree in the Amazon. At 88.5 meters, or over 290 feet, the tree species Dinizia excelsa, or angelim vermelho in Portuguese, beat out the previous record holders by almost 30 meters.

The forest engineering professor and researcher at Brazil’s Federal University of Jequitinhonha and Mucuri Valleys (UFVJM), along with several other researchers from Brazil and the United Kingdom, was examining data from Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (Inpe) when he noticed something out of the ordinary.

At first it was just a set of numbers on a screen that let the researchers know giants were growing in the Parú State Forest conservation area in the state of Pará. It took time and dedication to figure what the height measurements represented.

“It could have been a bird flying by, a tower, a sensor error,” says Gorgens, the lead author of a recent study about the trees published in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. “So we started to look into what could have given us these numbers that were so far from standard. And as we started looking at the data more carefully, we realized they weren’t errors. They were, in fact, giant trees.”

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  1. Carol, Indiana was 95% covered in old growth deciduous hardwood forests 300 years ago. That means of the 23,000,000 acres, about 21,700,000 acres of it had virgin hardwoods, much oak. In 1920, we went to under 15% forested and today are at about 20% forested. A squirrel could go from end to end and not touch the ground. Now there are 17,000,000 acres less forest in Indiana alone….most used for row crops or urbanization (some urban areas plant trees so not a total loss).

    Look at the beautiful Tongass National Forest in it’s undisturbed beauty. Those big trees…we had them and they are gone. Imagine the entire Tongass National Forest GONE….it’s also 17,000,000 acres and old growth, like we HAD…..imagine it gone and replaced with corn and bean fields….all of it. And that is just Indiana…one Midwest state that has so denuded the land that we HAVE altered our environment.

    • The tons and tons of trees are a huge carbon sink. CO2 taken from air, nutrients and water bind the carbon and release the oxygen in that wonderful photosynthesis process…that gives us wood….carbon that can be held and made useful, extracted from air by natures bounty.

      Loss of 17,000,000 acres of old growth hardwood forests has huge impact. It is only one state that has lost the equivalent of Tongass…all of it. Trees moderate weather, slow winds, hold soils in place, retain water resources and replenish the ground water better. Now we look at corn fields and bean fields and hope

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