December 2021

We know the location of Poland’s tallest Christmas Tree!

For many decades the most popular tree that finds its way to our homes and becomes the festive symbol of Christmas has been the Norway Spruce. It is one of our native tree species that commonly grows in Polish foothills and in mountain regions of our country, as well as in the north-eastern region. Two of the known, tallest spruces growing in Poland so far, were trees from the Beskid Żywiecki and Białowieża Forests, which grew to the height of 51.80m and 50.60m respectively. The Norway spruce found in the Beskid Żywiecki was also considered the tallest, still standing tree of Poland.

The magnificent overview of the tallest Norway spruce in Poland (Bardo Śląskie Forest Inspectorate).

With the Regional Tree Crown Map at the fingertips, which provides amongst others information about tree height, we have decided to verify whether the Beskid Żywiecki spruce is actually the tallest native tree. In a result of such an investigative search we found another Norway spruce, whose height has exceeded the boldest of our expectations.

The first measurements, based on the aerial laser scanning data, have shown that the tree in question may have more than 54 metres of height. The spruce grows in the area of Bardo Śląskie Forest Inspectorate and only about 600 metres south from the previously found Tallest Tree of Poland – the Douglas Fir which stands at 59.40m tall (see here).

This has confirmed that we truly found “The Valley of Giants”!

The cross-section of the LiDAR point cloud showing the tallest native tree (Norway Spruce of the Bardo Śląskie Forest Inspectorate) shown in comparison to the common “sky scraper” apartment block of 34m height.

The most accurate method to measure a tree height has always been a tape measure, dropped from the tree top to its bottom. This task was undertaken by two brave arborists: Bartłomiej Król and Marcin Kilańczyk, on the 22nd of May 2021, who climbed to the top of the tree, and supported by Ewa Zaraś-Januszkiewisz, Dominik Kopeć and Łukasz Sławik on the ground, who have taken the measurement on the ground. Taking the average of five consecutive measures, the height of the tallest “Christmas tree” was read as 55.07 metres.

Tree height measurement taken by the tape measure set from tree top (picture on the left: Bartłomiej Król) and reading at the bottom (picture on the right: Ewa Zaraś-Januszkiewicz).

THE TALLEST NATIVE TREE IN POLAND IS THEN THE NORWAY SPRUCE FROM THE BARDO ŚLĄŚKIE FOREST INSPECTORATE AND ITS HEIGHT IS 55.07 METRES. This newly discovered and measured Norway spruce is taller than the previous record holder by 3.27m.

We know all this thanks to the Regional Tree Crown Map

Text author: Dominik Kopeć