Rio Botanical Garden launches Giant Trees Trail

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The Giant Trees Trail, which brings together the 11 largest trees in the living collection of the Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden (JBRJ), was launched this Wednesday (21), Tree Day. The largest of these trees is an African mahogany (khaya senegalensis), with a height of 49.1 meters, the equivalent of a 16-story building.

On Friday (23) and Saturday (24), there will be free guided tours of the trail, at 10 am and 2 pm. After these days, the ticket for the trail will cost R$ 22, apart from the price of the ticket to the arboretum.

To participate, you must register in advance by calling (21) 3874-1808 and (21) 3874-1214 or by email Tickets for the Garden can be purchased at the box office or at site of the Botanical Garden. The guide will take visitors to each of the 11 giant trees and will give explanations about the name, origin, use of each example (woodwork, ornamentation or food. There is no age limit for visits.

The trail features the largest vegetables in the Botanical Garden of Rio, with a height of over 25 meters. Journalist Camila Oliveira, conductor of the Visitors Center, who will be one of the guides on the trail, told Brazil Agency that a study carried out by the JBRJ, using a drone, verified the volume of carbon that the trees on the site are capable of storing.

“The drone has a light sensor. The light hits the floor and comes back to him. With that, it was possible to see the height of the trees. The brighter the light, the taller the tree. Thus, they were able to discover the 11 largest trees in the Garden,” he explained. The study mapped the 52 hectares of the Botanical Garden.


Preliminary data from the study show that the largest kapok in the JBRJ, 40.01 meters high, accumulates 12 tons of carbon. This means that the tree alone prevents the emission of 12 tons of carbon into the atmosphere. “It was the favorite tree of the [maestro e compositor] Tom Jobim”, highlighted Camila. Kapok is a tropical plant of the order Malvales and the family malvaceae, native to Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, northern South America and West Africa. It is the official tree of Puerto Rico.

Giant trees play an important ecological role in forests. On its immense branches, several species of plants and animals survive, as a result of the specific microclimate that involves humidity and luminosity. They also serve as shelters and support for nests.

After African mahogany, the second tallest tree is one of the famous imperial palms (Roystonea oleracea), native to the Caribbean, with 48.1 meters.

The other giant trees of the arboretum are the white faveira (Parkia multijuga Benth), with 36.9 m, native to South America; the African carob tree (Parkia biglandulosa Wight & Arn), with 37 m, native to Bangladesh and Myanmar; the pink jequitibá (Cariniana legalis (Mart.) Kuntze), which reaches 31 m in the arboretum and is endemic to Brazil; the acorn bean (Parkia pendula (Willd.) Benth. ex Walp), with 34.5 m, native to Latin America; Tasmanian eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus labil), with 39.5m, which can reach up to 70m in nature, native to Australia and Tasmania; the durian (Durio zibethinus L.), specimen with 33.03 m, with distribution in Southeast Asia; the mulatto dick (Calycophyllum spruceanum (Benth.) K. Schum.), with 29.62 m, native to South America; the Okoume (Aucoumea klaineana Pierre), with 36.35 m, native to Central Tropical Africa.


The most famous giant trees in the world are the sequoias, which grow in the western United States. They can reach over 100 meters in height.

In Brazil, specimens of angelim-vermelho were recently discovered in the Amazon, between the states of Amapá and Pará (Excellent Dinizia), with 88 meters high and 9 meters in diameter, estimated to be over 400 years old.

Translated to english by RJ983

From Brazil, by EBC News

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