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Plant of the Month: April 2008

Japan's Largest Trees

book cover

This month (For an addition, see my July 2010 plant-of-the-month.) I give you a summary of the tree measurements from a Japanese book about the largest trees in Japan. This book has no Roman alphabet characters except for the numbers, in meters. I translated the Japanese Katakana names, and have added scientific and English names --where the latter even exist. The book title, more or less, translates The 674 Big Trees all over Japan. The author is Hiroshi Watanabe. The book was published in March 1999 by YAMA-KEI of Tokyo; it has 451 pages; and its ISBN (for the 2006 printing): 978-4-635-06251-0.
    It has more than 75 species, excluding some important Japanese natives (such as the Larch, Kara-matsu) and including some non-natives (such as the Pomegranate). The trees are arranged geographically, going from Hokkaido and north Honshu to Kyushu. For every single tree --all 674-- a color photograph is supplied, and the month and date it was taken. The book has some one-tree-only species, and multiple examples of others such as Ginkgo, Japanese Cedar, wild cherry trees, Camphor trees. For most trees shown there is also an estimated age. There is a partial, and to me confusing, index.
    The tree measurements are given in height of meters, and trunk circumference (not diameter) at 1.3 meters from the ground. For those trees that are wider than tall, I wish the width of their ample crown spreads had been supplied. Unlike most large old or champion trees in the United States, many in Japan are revered. The pictures often show offerings, small shrines, decorative ropes, and elaborate careful props to support aged limbs. The trees are evidently revered.
    My lengthy table below lists 89 of the trees alphabetically by Japanese names. It gives only some of the book's many measurements --tallest, stoutest and oldest. To understand the size figures in feet, multiply the metric numbers by 3.281. Since I do not know Japanese, I fully expect that I made some errors in the following compilation. If readers are kind enough to alert me I will correct these. As for the measurements and ages, in some cases I am sure that exaggeration has been done. But I supply what was printed.

 アカマツ
 Aka-matsu
    Pinus densifolia
    Japanese Red Pine
    35 m tall × 5.1 m circumference; 500 years old
    22 m tall × 7.5 m circumference; 500 years old

 アカシデ
 Aka-shide
    Carpinus laxiflora
    Looseflower Hornbeam
    5 m tall × 2 m circumference; 700 years old

 アカガシ
 Aka-gashi
    Quercus acuta
    Japanese Red Oak
    15 m tall × 6.9 m circumference; 400 years old
    13 m tall × 7.8 m circumference

 アコウ
 Ako
    Ficus Wightiana (F. virens var. W.)
    Gray or White Fig Tree
    15m tall × 10.8 m circumference; 1,200 years old
    6 m tall × 18.3 m circumference
    30 m tall × 10 m circumference

 アスナロ
 Asunaro
    Thujopsis dolabrata
    Hiba Arborvitae
    27 m tall × 6 m circumference; 500 years old

 アベマキ
 Abe-maki
    Quercus variabilis
    Chinese Cork Oak
    16 m tall × 5 m circumference; 400 years old
    30 m tall × 2.6 m circumference

 アラカシ
 Ara-kashi
    Quercus glauca
    Ring-cupped or Japanese Blue Oak
    15 m tall × 7.5 m circumference

 イスノキ
 Isu-no-ki
    Distylium racemosum
    Japanese Isu-tree
    16 m tall × 3.9 m circumference

 イチイ
 Ichii
    Taxus cuspidata
    Japanese Yew
    15 m tall × 8 m circumference; 2,000 years old
    25 m tall × 6.9 m circumference; 2,000 years old
    22 m tall × 6.2 m circumference; 3,000 years old

 イチイガシ
 Ichii-gashi
    Quercus gilva (Cyclobalanopsis g.)
    Ichii Oak
    33 m tall × 7 m circumference
    20 m tall × 12 m circumference; 1,000 years old

 イチョウ
 Icho
    Gingko biloba
    Maidenhair Tree
    40 m tall × 20 m circumference; 1,000 years old
    45 m tall × 7.4 m circumference; 1,200 years old

 イヌシデ
 Inu-shide
    Carpinus Tschonoskii
    Yeddo Hornbeam
    12 m tall × 3 m circumference

 イヌマキ
 Inu-maki
    Podocarpus macrophyllus
    Yew Pine
    20 m tall × 8 m circumference; 400 years old
    10 m tall × 4.8 m circumference; 1,200 years old

 イトザクラ
 Ito-zakura
    Prunus pendula
    Weeping Cherry
    19 m tall × 9.5 m circumference; 1,000 years old

 イブキ
 Ibuki
    Juniperus chinensis
    Chinese Juniper
    35 m tall × 10.5 m circumference; 700 years old
    20 m tall × 21.3 m circumference; 1,500 years old

 イロハモミジ
 Iroha-momiji
    Acer palmatum
    Japanese Maple
    27 m tall × 4.1 m circumference; 860 years old
    9 m tall × 5 m circumference; 1,000 years old

 ウスキンモクセイ
 Usu-kin-mokusei
    Osmanthus fragrans var. Thunbergii
    Fragrant, Sweet, or Tea-Olive
    15 m tall × 4 m circumference; 1,200 years old

 ウラジロカシ
 Urajiro-gashi
    Quercus salicina
    Japanese Willowleaf-Oak
    21 m tall × 5 m circumference; 300 years old

 ウバメガシ
 Ubame-gashi
    Quercus phillyræoides
    Ubame Oak
    11.5 m tall × 5 m circumference; 1,100 years old
    8 m tall × 7.9 m circumference; 2,000 years old

 エドヒガソ
 Edo-higan
    Prunus pendula f. ascendens
    Equinox or Wild Spring-Cherry
    30 m tall × 6 m circumference; 500 years old
    20 m tall × 11.3 m circumference; 1,200 years old

 エノキ
 E-no-ki
    Celtis sinensis var. japonica
    Japanese Hackberry
    20 m tall × 7.5 m circumference; 200 years old

 エソジュ
 Enju
    Sophora japonica
    Chinese Scholar Tree; Japanese Pagoda Tree
    16 m tall × 8 m circumference; 800 years old

 オオシマザクラ
 O-shima-zakura
    Prunus Lannesiana var. speciosa
    Oshima Cherry
    14 m tall × 8 m circumference; 200 years old

 オガタマノキ
 Oga-tama-no-ki
    Michelia compressa (Magnolia c.)
    Inviting-Soul Tree; Japanese Evergreen Magnolia
    20 m tall × 9.1 m circumference; 1,000 years old

 カイノキ
 Kai-no-ki
    Pistacia chinensis
    Chinese Pistachio
    14 m tall × 2.2 m circumference; 80 years old

 カキ
 Kaki
    Diospyros Kaki
    Asian Persimmon
    13 m tall × 5 m circumference; 500 years old

 カゴノキ
 Kago-no-ki
    Actinodaphne lancifolia
    Kago Laurel
    15 m tall × 9.5 m circumference; 400 years old
    15 m tall × 4.6 m circumference; 1,000 years old

 カシワ
 Kashiwa
    Quercus dentata
    Daimyo Oak
    25 m tall × 4.1 m circumference; 350-400 years old

 カスミザクラ
 Kasumi-zakura
    Prunus verecunda (P. Levilleana)
    Korean Hill-Cherry
    14 m tall × 5 m circumference; 400 years old

 カツラ
 Katsura
    Cercidiphyllum japonicum
    Katsura Tree
    40 m tall × 18 m circumference
    35 m tall × 19 m circumference; 2,000 years old
    37 m tall × 20 m circumference; 800 years old

 カヤ
 Kaya
    Torreya nucifera
    Japanese Nutmeg-Tree
    30 m tall × 5.6 m circumference; 600 years old
    25 m tall × 7.8 m circumference; 1,000 years old
    16.5 m tall × 8.7 m circumference; 900 years old

 キソモクセイ
 Kin-mokusei
    Osmanthus fragrans f. aurantiacus
    Orange or Gold Osmanthus
    12 m tall × 3.2 m circumference; 400 years old

 クスノキ
 Kusu-no-ki
    Cinnamomum Camphora
    Camphor Tree
    42 m tall × 10 m circumference; 800 years old
    30 m tall × 24.2 m circumference; 1,500 years old
    25 m tall × 21 m circumference; 3,000 years old

 クリ
 Kuri
    Castanea crenata
    Japanese Chestnut Tree
    17.4 m tall × 5.7 m circumference; 800 years old
    14 m tall × 7.2 m circumference

 クロマツ
 Kuro-matsu
    Pinus Thunbergii
    Japanese Black Pine
    25 m tall × 6.4 m circumference; 300 years old
    10 m tall × 7 m circumference; 600 years old

 クロガネモチ
 Kurogane-mochi
    Ilex rotunda
    Kurogane or Round-leaf Holly
    17 m tall × 3.9 m circumference; 500 years old

 クロベ
 Kurobe
    Thuja Standishii
    Japanese Arborvitae
    26 m tall × 5.4 m circumference; 500 years old
    25 m tall × 7.7 m circumference; 600 years old

 クワ
 Kuwa
    Morus alba (M. bombycis)
    White Mulberry-Tree
    13.7 m tall × 5.3 m circumference; 1,500 years old

 ケヤキ
 Keyaki
    Zelkova serrata
    Japanese Zelkova
    25 m tall × 28.4 (sic) m circumference; 700 years old
    28 m tall × 12.6 m circumference; 1,500 years old
    40 m tall × 8.9 m circumference; 600 years old

 ケソボナシ
 Kenpo-nashi
    Hovenia dulcis
    Japanese Raisin-Tree
    18 m tall × 3.6 m circumference; 200 years old

 コウヤマキ
 Koya-maki
    Sciadopitys verticillata
    Japanese Umbrella-Pine
    29 m tall × 6 m circumference; 800 years old
    27 m tall × 6.3 m circumference; 600 years old

 コナラ
 Konara
    Quercus glandulifera (Q. serrata)
    Konara Oak
    28 m tall × 5.6 m circumference

 コミネカエデ
 Ko-mine-kaede
    Acer micranthum
    Small-flowered Maple
    8 m tall × 2.8 m circumference; 600 years old

 サィカチ
 Saikachi
    Gleditsia japonica
    Japanese Honeylocust
    10.1 m tall × 5.4 m circumference; 450 years old

 サカキ
 Sakaki
    Cleyera japonica
    Japanese Cleyera; Sakaki-tree
    11 m tall × 3.4 m circumference; 300-400 years old

 サワラ
 Sawara
    Chamæcyparis pisifera
    Sawara Cypress
    45 m tall × 7.2 m circumference; 1,000 years old
    43 m tall × 9.6 m circumference; 700 years old

 ザワロ
 Zakuro
    Punica Granatum
    Pomegranate
    7.4 m tall × 1.3 m circumference; 125 years old

 サザソカ
 Sazanka
    Camellia Sasanqua
    Sasanqua Camellia
    5.5 m tall × 1.6 m circumference; 1,000 years old

 サトザクラ
 Sato-zakura
    Prunus Lannesiana var. Lannesiana
    Japanese Flowering Cherry
    8 m tall × 5.5 m circumference; 200 years old

 シダレカツラ
 Shidare-katsura
    Cercidiphyllum japonicum f. pendulum
    Weeping Katsura-Tree
    23 m tall × 4.4 m circumference; 170 years old

 シナノキ
 Shina-no-ki
    Tilia japonica
    Japanese Linden
    23 m tall × 8 m circumference; 200-300 years old

 シラカシ
 Shira-kashi
    Quercus myrsinæfolia
    Bamboo-leaf Oak
    31 m tall × 8 m circumference; 350 years old

 シロヤナギ
 Shiro-yanagi
    Salix jessoensis (S. dolichostyla)
    Yeddo Willow
    22 m tall × 5.5 m circumference; 130 years old

 スギ
 Sugi
    Cryptomeria japonica
    Japanese Cedar
    68 m tall × 15 m circumference; 2,000 years old
    25.3 m tall × 16.1 m circumference; 7,200 years old (sic)
    45 m tall × 25 m circumference; 500 years old

 スダジイ
 Suda-jii
    Castanopsis cuspidata var. Sieboldii
    Japanese Chinquapin
    29 m tall × 8.2 m circumference; 1,300 years old
    20 m tall × 11.4 m circumference

 セソダソ
 Sendan
    Melia Azedarach
    Chinaberry-Tree
    13 m tall × 6 m circumference; 300 years old
    8.9 m tall × 9.2 m circumference; 400 years old

 ソテツ
 Sotetsu
    Cycas revoluta
    Sago Cycad; Japanese Sago Palm
    10 m tall × 2.5 m circumference; 1,000 years old

 ソメイヨシノ
 Somei-yoshino
    Prunus × yedoensis
    Yoshino Cherry-Tree
    18 m tall × 3.6 m circumference
    11 m tall × 5.1 m circumference; 90-100 years old

 タブノキ
 Tabu-no-ki
    Persea Thunbergii (Machilus T.)
    Japanese Machilus; Tabu Laurel
    35 m tall × 7.9 m circumference; 500 years old
    20 m tall × 8.5 m circumference; 1,300-1,500 years old
    18 m tall × 10.8 m circumference; 500 years old

 タラョウ
 Tara-yo
    Ilex latifolia
    Tarajo or Magnolia-leaf Holly
    14.9 m tall × 2.5 m circumference
    10 m tall × 3.3 m circumference

 チシャノキ
 Chisha-no-ki
    Ehretia acuminata (E. ovalifolia)
    Heliotrope Tree; Tallow Tree
    14 m tall × 4.8 m circumference; 700 years old

 チャソチソモドキ
 Chanchin-modoki
    Choerospondias axillaris var. japonica
    no English name
    25 m tall × 3.7 m circumference

 ツクバネガシ
 Tsukubane-gashi
    Quercus sessilifolia
    Tsukubane Oak
    27 m tall × 7.9 m circumference; 360 years old
    26 m tall × 6 m circumference; 600 years old

 トチノキ
 Tochi-no-ki
    Æsculus turbinata
    Japanese Horse-chestnut
    35 m tall × 10 m circumference; 300 years old
    25 m tall × 13 m circumference; 1,300 years old

 ナギ
 Nagi
    Podocarpus Nagi (Nageia N.)
    Broadleaf Podocarp
    25 m tall × 3.4 m circumference; 500 years old
    15 m tall × 5.8 m circumference; 1,000 years old

 ナラガシワ
 Nara-gashiwa
    Quercus aliena
    Oriental White Oak
    16 m tall × 3.5 m circumference

 ネズ
 Nezu (Nedzusashi)
    Juniperus rigida
    Needle Juniper
    9 m tall × 3.5 m circumference; 1,400 years old

 バクチノキ
 Bakuchi-no-ki
    Prunus Zippeliana
    Gambling Tree; Japanese Evergreen Cherry
    20 m tall × 5.2 m circumference; 320 years old

 ハイノキ
 Hai-no-ki
    Symplocos myrtacea
    Japanese Sapphireberry
    15 m tall × 5.2 m circumference

 ハマセソダソ
 Hama-sendan
    Euodia meliifolia (meliæfolia)
    no English name
    25 m tall × 3.3 m circumference; 300 years old

 ハリギリ
 Harigiri (Sen-noki)
    Kalopanax septemlobus
    Prickly Castor-Tree
    40 m tall × 6.5 m circumference; 360 years old

 ハルニレ
 Haru-nire
    Ulmus Davidiana var. japonica
    Japanese Elm
    26 m tall × 6.2 m circumference; 300 years old
    20 m tall × 7.2 m circumference; 350 years old

 ヒイラギ
 Hiiragi
    Osmanthus heterophyllus
    Common Osmanthus
    15 m tall × 2.4 m circumference; 600 years old
    11.7 m tall × 3 m circumference; 950 years old

 ヒイラギモクセイ
 Hiiragi-mokusei
    Osmanthus × Fortunei
    Hybrid Osmanthus
    9 m tall × 2.4 m circumference; 400 years old

 ヒノキ
 Hi-no-ki
    Chamæcyparis obtusa
    Hinoki Cypress
    40 m tall × 4.7 m circumference; 500 years old
    33 m tall × 6.2 m circumference; 1,000 years old
    32 m tall × 8 m circumference; 800 years old

 ヒメバラモミ
 Hime-bara-momi
    Picea Maximowiczii
    Japanese Bush Spruce
    20 m tall × 3.8 m circumference; 500 years old

 ブナ
 Buna
    Fagus crenata
    Japanese Beech
    24 m tall × 8.6 m circumference; 600 years old

 ホオノキ
 Hoo-no-ki
    Magnolia obovata (M. hypoleuca)
    Japanese Silverleaf Magnolia
    15 m tall × 6.2 m circumference; 300 years old

 ホルトノキ
 Horuto-no-ki
    Elæocarpus sylvestris
    Japanese Blueberry-Tree
    30 m tall × 8.5 m circumference

 マラバヤナギ
 Maruba-yanagi
    Salix chænomeloides
    Japanese or Giant Pussywillow
    11 m tall × 3.9 m circumference; 150 years old

 ミズナラ
 Mongori-nara
    Quercus mongolica var. grosserata
    Mongolian Oak
    33 m tall × 9.4 m circumference; 300 years old
    18 m tall × 4.9 m circumference; 800 years old

 ムクノキ
 Muku-no-ki
    Aphananthe aspera
    Muku-tree
    30 m tall × 8.1 m circumference; 1,000 years old
    18 m tall × 9.5 m circumference; 1,500 years old

 ムクロジ
 Muku-roji
    Sapindus Mukurossi
    Japanese Soapberry-Tree
    12 m tall × 4.2 m circumference

 モッコク
 Mokkoku
    Ternstroemia gymnanthera
    Japanese Ternstroemia
    22.5 m tall × 2.3 m circumference
    20 m tall × 3.4 m circumference; 600 years old

 モミ
 Momi
    Abies firma
    Momi Fir
    36 m tall × 6.3 m circumference
    34 m tall × 7.8 m circumference; 1,000 years old

 ヤチダモ
 Yachi-damo
    Fraxinus mandshurica var. japonica
    Japanese Ash
    22 m tall × 4.3 m circumference; 640 years old

 ヤブツバキ
 Yabu-tsubaki
    Camellia japonica
    Common Camellia
    9.7 m tall × 3.2 m circumference; 1,200 years old

 ヤマザクラ
 Yama-zakura
    Prunus Jamasakura
    Japanese Hill-Cherry
    25 m tall × 8.3 m circumference

 ヤマモモ
 Yama-momo
    Myrica rubra
    Red or Chinese Bayberry
    20 m tall × 4.6 m circumference; 400-500 years old

That is the end.

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Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert

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