PETALING JAYA: The world’s tallest tropical tree, and possibly the tallest flowering plant, measuring over 100m high, has been found in Sabah. That would make it longer than a football field if it was laid down.
It is estimated to weigh 81,500kg, or more than the maximum take-off weight of a Boeing 737-800, excluding roots.
Local climber Unding Jami, was the first man to scale the tree in January 2019. He said it was a “scary and windy” ascent.
“The view from the top was incredible. I don’t know what to say other than it was very, very, very amazing,“ said Unding, who scaled the tree to measure it with a measuring tape.
The tree was first spotted by researchers from the University of Nottingham led by Dr Doreen Boyd in early 2018, using an airborne Light Detection and Ranging Survey (LiDAR) where lasers pulses are reflected off the canopy and ground surface.
Researchers from the University of Oxford and SEARRP partners then trekked out to the tree, named Menara, in August 2018 to conduct high-resolution 3D scans and drone flights, which have produced remarkable 3D visualisations of this amazing tree.
The tree is a Shorea faguetiana (common name Yellow Meranti), of the Dipterocarpacae family that dominates the humid lowland rainforests of Southeast Asia.