Planting Tall Trees - What Are The Tallest Trees You Can Buy

Tall Full Green Tree
(Image credit: pcturner71)

Very tall trees are the original sky scrapers. And walking through forests of high trees is, to many, a magical, almost spiritual experience. It makes perfect sense that a property owner with considerable space would want to grow tall trees.

Planting tall trees does more than just provide you with esthetic delight. It can provide a wind block, create privacy and encourage wildlife. Read on for a list of the world’s tallest trees as well as tips for choosing tall trees for your landscape.

Very Tall Trees

The tallest trees on the planet may or may not be trees you want in your landscape. And some of them have very specific cultural requirements. The coastal redwood tree (Sequoia sempervirens) is acknowledged as the tallest tree species on earth, for example, growing well over 300 feet (100 m) tall. But these magnificent trees need a fog-cooled coastal climate to thrive. 

Another of the high trees is yellow meranti (Shorea faguetiana), also topping 300 feet (100 m) in height. It is native to Sabah, Malaysia, and is considered to be the tallest flowering plant in the world. Other members of the “very tall trees” clan are mountain ash (Eucalyptus regnans), coast Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii var. menziesii), northern red oak (Quercus rubra) and the Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis).

Planting Tall Trees

When you want to grow tall trees, you may not want to pick the very tallest ones in the world to plant. While it’s interesting to think about the very tallest trees you can buy, it is more sensible to consider your climate and landscape.

Start with your hardiness zone. If a very tall tree does not thrive where you live, it definitely should not be on your list. But there are very likely tall trees that would do just fine. There are lots of reasonably high trees that might work, including beech, maple, oak, elm and sycamore.

How to Grow Tall Trees

If you live in a cold hardiness zone, you might want to consider planting tall trees like elm. You can plant American elm in very low hardiness zones from USDA zones 2 through 9. American linden and American beech grow in zones 3 through 8. Buy either one bare root and plant them in the fall or springtime.

For warmer winter climates, consider gingkos that grow in zones 3 through 9. These amazing trees offer a beautiful golden fall display. The bald cypress tree can thrive in zones 4 through 10. Each has its own cultural requirements so do your homework before making a selection

Teo Spengler

Teo Spengler has been gardening for 30 years. She is a docent at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Her passion is trees, 250 of which she has planted on her land in France.