Hyperion, certified by Guinness World Records as the world’s tallest living tree, is officially off-limits to visitors.
California’s Redwood National Park issued a statement last week that anyone caught near the tree faces up to six months in prison and a $5,000 fine.
The tree, which stands deep in the park with no trails leading to it, has been seriously damaged by thrill-seekers who have been visiting since it was found by two naturalists in 2006.
The coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) stands 115.92 meters tall and its name derives from Greek mythology – Hyperion was one of the Titans and the father of the sun god Helios and the moon goddess Selene.
“Hyperion is off-trail through dense vegetation and requires heavy ‘bushing’ to reach the tree,” reads a statement on the national park’s website.
“Despite the difficult journey, the increased popularity of this off-trail tree by bloggers, travel journalists and websites has led to the devastation of the habitat around Hyperion,” the statement said. “As a visitor, you must decide whether you will be part of the preservation of this unique landscape – or part of its destruction?”
Leonel Arguello, the park’s chief of natural resources, told news site San Francisco Gate that there is limited cell phone and GPS service in the area, meaning it can be very difficult to find lost or injured hikers in the area rescue.
In addition to erosion and damage to the base of the tree, there are secondary problems caused by the influx of people.
“There was rubbish, and people made more byways to go to the toilet. They leave behind used toilet paper and human waste — that’s not a good thing,” Arguello said.
Human visitors are not the only threat to these giant trees.
Wildfires are a growing problem in California’s national parks.
In 2021, officials at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks took extreme measures to protect some of the world’s largest trees from fire.
General Sherman, thought to be the world’s tallest tree — determined by density, not height, as it’s shorter than Hyperion — was wrapped in an “aluminum-based flameproof material” similar to tinfoil to protect it during the devastation KNP- complex fire.
The video in the media player above was used in a previous report.
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https://abc7chicago.com/worlds-tallest-tree-hyperion-largest-redwood-national-park/12090618/ Visitors to the world’s tallest tree, Hyperion, face a $5,000 fine, according to California’s Redwood National Park