Cal Poly Professor Matt Ritter and a small group of students have confirmed that a massive Karri Eucalyptus tree in Poly Canyon is the tallest of its kind in North America.
In November, the group--including graduate students Jennifer Yost and Chris Wassenberg, as well as undergraduate Justin Bence--scaled the tree using a belay system and measured its height at 154 feet. A mature Karri can grow to almost twice that height, making it one of the tallest species in the world.
The tree's base is 7 feet in diameter, with a crown that measures 75 feet across. Based on those dimensions, the tree's age is estimated at 80 to 100 years.
This tree, the only Karri in a grove of Blue Gum Eucalyptus trees, is located at the bottom of Brizzolara Creek near the road that leads up to the old quarry site.