Here a story about how poorly we still know the maximum heights European trees are capable to attain.
In Hartenstein, Saxony, Germany, there is an large old linden tree called Rotmühlenlinde. A book states it is 44 meters (144 ft) tall and the species is large-leaved linden (Tilia platyphyllos
). It would be the tallest European linden with a wide marginal.
Last summer, I drove there to measure the tree. It was only 30 meters (98 ft) tall and not large-leaved but small-leaved linden (T. cordata
). After the measurement I drove away through the town, and after the town center I saw from my car a tall-looking linden tree in a small deciduous forest patch. I had no time to make an extra stop, but in August, I returned Hartenstein and measured the latter tree with a friend of mine (Christoph Hase, in the photo). The tree is a double trunked large-leaved linden, and it turned to be 38.6 meters (127 ft) tall
, the tallest laser measured large-leaved linden with a marginal of 3.4 meters (11 ft), and the tallest of any European linden
species with a marginal of 1.4 meters (4.6 ft). I have marked the highest point with an arrow in the photo below. The foliage in the foreground is of Norway maple (Acer platanoides
The CBH of both trunks together is 5.27 m. There is a very narrow opening between the two trunks from the height of about 1 meter, and we managed to get my measuring tape between the trunks with great effort; the CBH of the taller trunk is 3.73 m. I measured the height with Nikon Laser 550A S.
UPDATE NOVEMBER 2013:
The tallest reliably measured large-leaved linden is now 41.8 m tall:http://www.monumentaltrees.com/en/fra/m ... eincastle/
The tallest reliably measured linden of Europea is now 46.5 m tall common linden (Tilia x europaea
):http://www.monumentaltrees.com/en/gbr/s ... ack/15434/