Scientists reach the tallest tree in the Amazon

After three years of planning, five expeditions and a two-week trek through the jungle, a team of scientists has arrived at the largest tree ever discovered in the Amazon rainforest, a massive specimen the size of a 25-story building.

The giant tree, whose summit rises above the canopy in the Irataburu River Nature Reserve in northern Brazil, is “Dinizia excelsa” with a height of 88.5 meters and a circumference of 9.9 meters.

Researchers first saw the tree in satellite imagery in 2019, and a team of researchers, ecologists and local guides attempted to access it that same year. But after a ten-day trek over rough terrain, exhausted, with few supplies and a team member sick, they are forced to return.


Photo: afp

Three more expeditions to the remote area of ​​the Gary Valley on the border between Amapá and Para states have yielded more giant trees, including the largest Brazil nut ever recorded in the Amazon, a 66-meter-high specimen.

But the massive ‘Dinizia excelsa’ remained elusive until the expedition from September 12-25, when researchers traveled 250 kilometers by boat and more than 20 kilometers on foot through the mountain forest to reach the tree.

The group took samples that will be analyzed for, among other things, the tree’s age — at least 400 to 600 years, according to forest engineer Diego Armando Silva of the Federal University of Amapá — and how much carbon it stores. .

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Denton Watson

"Friend of animals everywhere. Evil twitter fan. Pop culture evangelist. Introvert."

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