FASCINATING VIDEO: World’s tallest pine growing in Estonia 10.02

Estonia’s tallest pine, standing in Veriora Rural Municipality, in Põlva County, has also proven to be the tallest specimen of the Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) in the entire world.

The giant in Põlva County is 46.6 metres tall, topping the previous world’s tallest Scots pine, in Poland, by 1.3 metres. As the newly performed measurements by researchers of the University of Life Sciences testify, the stately tree is also of a respectable age, being at least 214 years old.

According to RMK’s forest grower Kaarel Tiganik, the world’s tallest pine was measured half by chance late last year, since initially it was the spruce growing beside the pine that was being investigated at his request. “Once it became clear that Estonia’s record tree (48.6 metres) had been identified in the spruce, researchers from the University of Life Sciences set about checking the measurements of the pines growing next to it,” said Tiganik, explaining how Estonia got itself a new tallest pine and tallest spruce in a single day. Researchers from the University of Life Sciences determined the age of the spruce to be at least 202 years.

The fact that the pine growing in Ootsipalu is nothing short of being the world’s tallest became apparent later, when the naturalist Hendrik Relve, well informed about Estonia’s ultimate trees, entered the record tree into the international database of tall trees (see monumentaltrees.com).

Over a hundred species of pine grow worldwide; of those, the Scots pine, or Pinus sylvestris, grows in Ootsipalu Valley in Põlva County. This tree species occurs specifically in Europe. In Estonia, the Scots pine is the only naturally occurring pine species, being also the most common tree in the forests here.

Foresters and researchers believe that one reason why so many record breaking trees are growing in one location in Põlva County is that the trees are located on basin-like ground, partially on a slope and partially in a depression. Their location offers natural protection against strong storms and winds, and ensures that storm water and nutrients flow to the bottom of the depression, supplying the trees with sufficient water and nutrients. Hendrik Relve has christened the trees in the area as the Giants of Ootsipalu Valley.

Estonia’s tallest pine and spruce are growing on state forest land and have been placed under special care. RMK is the keeper, protector and manager of the forest and other natural biotic communities belonging to the Estonian state. RMK earns a profit for the state through forest management, growing reforestation material, and organising forest and nature conservation works. In addition, RMK establishes opportunities for nature walking in recreational and protected areas and fosters nature awareness. RMK consists of the Sagadi Forest Centre, the Elistvere Animal Park, the Põlula Fish Farm, and the Tartu Tree Nursery. More than 700 people work for RMK; however, the total number of people employed in the state forest is 5000.

View unique photos of the world’s tallest Scots pine here.

Further information:
Andres Sepp
Forest Manager for the RMK Põlva County Forest District
Tel: 676 7932, 505 5932
E-mail: andres.sepp@rmk.ee