I wrote about the tallest European larches (Larix decidua
), I had measured until then, here:viewtopic.php?f=198&t=1533
German tall tree hunter Karlheinz Brüne recently told me about a tall European larch in Schlitz, Germany, and invited me to measure it. According to the official information this tree, dubbed as "Grand German", is as tall as 55 meters (180 ft), but Karlheinz's preliminary measuremens gave only ~45 meters.
The tree grows in a 400-hectare lowland forest outside the natural range of the species. In addition to larch, the stand contains plentiful European beech (Fagus sylvatica
). First larches have been planted in 1742. Now larch appears to regenerate naturally in the patches where beeches have been removed. Media articles speak about "195-years old trees" but it is unclear to me if it is the Grand German's age, too.
My measurement was very close to that of Karlheinz: 45.5 m (149 ft). CBH is 354 cm. According to the official information its volume is 20 cubic meters.
After measuring the Grand German, we concentrated on other larches and soon noticed the stand has lots of taller trees than the Grand German. And how tall! I had not known European larch can attain such heights at all. The first over 50 m tall larch was the 51.6-meter (169 ft) tree pictured below. Its CBH is only 263 cm.
We found two still taller trees growing side by side. The tallest is the very thin leaning tree below, with a CBH of 195 cm. Its height 52.6 m (173 ft)
makes it the tallest reliable measured European larch
we are aware of. The second tallest tree, height 51.8 m (170 ft), is on the right.
It is possible that somebody has confused the tree identities. The Grand German is undoubtedly the largest tree of the stand but it is far from being the tallest although the official information states so. Its top is also intact. Perhaps the 55-meter tree still exists, we had possibility to explore only a small part of the forest, though it should be a prime stand because it is marked as a seed collection site.
Thus, the name "Grand German" is quite misleading: the tree is not the tallest in Germany, nor the thickest or largest (e.g. the Brüsenwälder Lärche is 460 cm and 30 cubic meters).
Tall European larches exist as north as in southern Finland. In a research forest of Finnish Forest Research Institute in Punkaharju, there is a 47.1-meter (155 ft) larch measured with Riegl VZ-1000 laser scanner (price about $ 200.000!). The whole stand was laser-scanned and an animation of the scanned stand can be seen here (the tallest tree appears at 0:48):http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYGvF5n0dFA
It is the tallest tree of Finland. Forestry engineer Esko Oksa told me the wood volume of the stand is now over 800 m3/ha and was over 1000 m3/ha before thinning. The tree is pictured below.