Why do trees grow so tall

why do trees grow tall

According to recent news, the world’s tallest tree, called Hyperion, has reached a height of about 379 feet, and while its location is kept a secret, the question of why do trees achieve towering heights is a mind-boggling one. While the answers to this question are many, the height a tree is destined to achieve when it’s planted depends on the climatic conditions, the species of the tree and the number of trees growing in close proximity. Trees mostly grow a lot taller than other plant species because of the reasons mentioned after the break.

Light, carbon dioxide and water

As we all know, trees require energy in three forms – sunlight, carbon dioxide and water. Lighting conditions directly have an effect on the height of the tree as when light strikes the opening leaves, it triggers the production of chlorophyll that ensures adequate food production for the tree. Trees that are in shade will naturally try to achieve a height more than the tree producing the shade to get more sunlight. Moreover, tree roots are programmed to suck in water with leaves resulting in evaporation. The more water is evaporated, the more is the suction force to pull in water from the roots all the way to the canopy.

Genetic Programming

Trees are genetically programmed to grow taller and their average height depends on their species. While a few species grow extremely tall, others reach heights of just a few meters.


The height a tree reaches also depends on the height of the neighboring canopy. As trees require natural light to carry out their operations, they are programmed to grow tall enough to reach the light.