Photo of the Day: Giant Dragon Spruce, Taiwania trees found in Hualien

Forest of giant Dragon Spruce, Taiwania trees found in mountains of eastern Taiwan's Hualien County

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Taiwania tree. (Photo by Rebecca Hsu)

Taiwania tree. (Photo by Rebecca Hsu)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- A forest of giant Dragon Spruce and Taiwania trees has been spotted during a survey recently carried out deep in the mountains of eastern Taiwan's Hualien County.

A team of researchers from the Taiwan Forestry Research Institute on an expedition deep inside Taiwan's Central Mountain Range encountered a "forest of giant trees" in the eastern section of the Batongguan Historical Trail. This photo is of a Taiwania tree (Taiwania cryptomerioides) found in the forest, which is over 60 meters tall.

Taiwan Forestry Research Institute assistant researcher Rebecca Hsu (徐嘉君) recently formed a five-member exploration team to find and photograph giant ancient trees in the Central Mountain Range. Over the Lunar New Year, the team entered the mountains from Zhongpinglin Trail in Hualien.

After seven days of trekking nearly 80 kilometers, the team discovered a primitive mega-tree forest covering an area of about one hectare. The three largest trees found measured about 63 to 64 meters in height, the equivalent to about 20 stories, reported CNA.

One of the trees was identified as a Dragon Spruce, also known as Taiwan Spruce, while the other two were found to be Taiwania trees. The Dragon Spruce was found to be about 2.3 meters in diameter, while the two Taiwania trees were measured at 3.5 meters in diameter, according to the report.

Taiwania is one of the tallest tree species in Asia. In the indigenous Rukai language they are called the "tree which hits the moon." They are an ancient species of tree which has existed on Earth for more than 100 million years and are considered a "living fossil."


Massive Taiwania tree. (Photo by Rebecca Hsu)


(Photo by Rebecca Hsu)


(Photo by Rebecca Hsu)


(Photo by Rebecca Hsu)


(Photo by Rebecca Hsu)


(Photo by Rebecca Hsu)

Video of the forest by Rebecca Hsu: