Measuring standards for trees have never included root mass, but it is easy to ascertain from other available information which trees are the most likely contenders to have the largest roots on earth. A tree is not simply measured based on how tall or how much circumference it has; in many instances, both height and width are included, but the diameter of the trunk is often the most important factor. Due to the difficulty in getting a true measurement for an enormous tree, it is not common for trees to be ranked based on their size. Some trees are so obviously larger than others, however, that people have felt compelled to measure them. The following trees are believed to be the largest or the oldest on earth, and as such, they are likely to also have the world's largest roots.
The giant sequoia known as General Sherman is in Tulare County, Calif. Although it is not the widest or the tallest tree on record, its volume has granted it the title of the largest tree on earth. General Sherman is over 2,000 years old, and it reaches 275 feet into the air. The tree's diameter is approximately 25 feet, making it an awe-inspiring sight for those who are able to stand at its base.
A coast redwood named Hyperion is the tallest known tree on earth. Undiscovered until 2006, Hyperion is hidden in California's Redwood National and State Parks. It is estimated to be approximately 800 years old, and it is almost 380 feet tall. Nature conservationists are concerned about the negative impact that a lot of tourism would have Hyperion, so they have elected not to share any information that can lead to its exact location.
Although the Methuselah tree is not overly large, it is the oldest tree on earth. With an age of over 4,800 years, it stands to reason that the Methuselah tree has very strong roots. Just like Hyperion, the exact location of Methuselah has not been disclosed, but this Great Basin Bristlecone Pine is inside of California's Inyo National Forest.
Lost Monarch is another enormous large coast redwood, and it is listed as being the second largest tree on earth. Its exact location has been kept from the public, just like the Methuselah and Hyperion, but it is somewhere in California's Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park. The Lost Monarch is 320 feet tall and 26 feet in diameter.
Which One has the Largest Roots?
While we have no definitive way to determine which tree has the largest roots from this list, it is most likely to be Hyperion or General Sherman. New trees are discovered every day, though, so the actual largest tree on the planet may still be hiding deep in a forest.
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