Redwoods in Stout Grove

World's widest trunk

Coast Redwood, wider than Giant Sequoia, Montezuma Cypress or Baobab

Continued from: Largest Coast Redwoods

Copyright 2015 - 2017 by Mario Vaden



This was mentioned with some other new discovery information but I made the extra page to cover other species. Between 2014 and 2015 new discoveries in Redwood National and State Parks moved the Coast Redwood species past Giant Sequoia and others like the Tule Tree for widest trunk. Unless something falls , the world's widest known trunk is Coast Redwood which surpassed Giant Sequoia, Baobab and I will also say the Montezuma Cypress in Mexico called El Arbol del Thule. Because photos of the widest Coast Redwood and several others were not released, the Coast Redwood image below is provided as a representative example. Continue after image.


Coast Redwood has the widest trunk, more than Giant Sequioa


A few aspects need review.

1. Giant Sequoia - For years, quite a few people spoke of widest Giant Sequoias in terms of girth at ground level where the trunk flare is most exaggerated. But professionals measure diameter and circumference near chest height known as dbh. So if you ever saw diameters listed for Giant Sequioa like 35 ft., that is exaggerated.

2. Coast Redwood - Historically, Coast Redwoods were wider and more massive than Giant Sequoia seen today. The volume was documented, but any Coast Redwoods more massive than General Sherman were cut down or fell in the early 1900s. Between 1930 and the present, Coast Redwoods are often described as the tallest redwoods and Giant Sequoias described as the largest redwoods. That left the impression that Coast Redwoods do not grow diameter comparable to Giant Sequoia. But between 2013 - 2015 a lot of new Coast Redwoods were discovered. These include trunk diameter and circumference at ground level that surpass all known Giant Sequoias. The world's widest trunk tree is a Coast Redwood with a diameter 29.2'

3. Baobab - Africa has Baobabs with very wide trunks. The largest are two or more trunks and do not contend for the world's widest trunk They are cool looking organisms though and if you haven't heard of them, search for some of the photos. Almost Disney-like.

4. The Montezuma Cypress, El Arbol del Thule - Regarding the Montezuma Cypress in Santa Maria de Tule, it has been described having a 46 ft. wide trunk. Here's the reality check ...

a. The trunk is very elliptical and does not look so big viewed from the narrow side, rarely shown. b. The trunk is very buttressed, inflating the dbh measurement. The tape literally floats in the air much of the way around. I included a diagram below to illustrate. c. El Arbol del Tule is most likely fused multiple trunks, evident from seams and included bark that show where individual stems grew and squeezed tight together over time. Over decades, air gaps between vanished as opposite bark grew together. d. Testing was done for DNA in the trunks leading to claims that proves its a single tree. But that is not proof, because trees can have the same DNA, then mature, expand and merge together. Both are possible, so DNA is not proof. This can happen from root sprouts, rooted cutting or layering. There are several ways it can happen. So the DNA testing is not proof. It only means the trunk is related to itself. And its clear from the appearance that it may be multiple trunks.



In the image below, you can see how it's girth became so greatly exaggerated. The red line represents a tape wrap for diameter. It's not a true contender for widest "trunk". Most of the wides giant sequoia and coast redwood are solid masses of trunk, wood and bark with very little air space in the tape-wrap. The Arbol del Thule cypress is a wide area irregular wood mixed with open air space. It is almost 50% an open void.

Image: the ground "footprint" of El Arbol del Thule with red representing a tape wrap

Coast Redwood trunk wider than Giant Sequoia and El Arbor de Tule