25 Biggest Trees in California

It really should be a surprise to no one that the state of California has a lot of huge trees. After all, it is home to those super-large redwoods that are on every visitor’s list of things to see while visiting there.


The thing is, when you see a list of “biggest” trees, it could be referring to either the height of the tree or the diameter of it, and some trees are extremely tall and wide. One thing is certain: huge trees are a work of nature, and they inspire awe and wonder in all of us.

Another factor that comes into play is the age of the trees. To think that you could be standing next to a tree that is hundreds of years old and will probably be there long after you’re gone is nothing short of amazing.

If you can make it to California, seeing some of these trees is a great idea. They are beautiful, colorful, and fascinating to look at, not just because of their sheer size and magnitude but also because they are there due to nothing that we did ourselves to help them.

25. Elephant’s Foot in Berylwood Tree Farm, Somis, Ventura County, Elephant’s Foot (Beaucarnea recurvata), 20 feet

Beaucarnea recurvata
Tatters ✾ Beaucarnea recurvata

While not that tall when compared to many other large trees in California, the spread at the base of the tree is what catches people’s attention. The closer you get to the bottom of the base, the wider it gets, and in some ways it looks like a large foot at the bottom of a tree. If you truly want to see some of the largest trees in the state of California, go to Ventura County and visit this one.

24. Peruvian Pepper Tree in Balboa Park, San Diego, Peruvian Pepper Tree (Schinus molle), 41 feet

Schinus molle
???????????????????? Schinus molle

This Peruvian pepper tree is around 22 feet in girth and is found in San Diego County. It has a rather “crooked” design at the base of the tree that lends ambiance to it, and there are a lot of branches and greenery on it to give it a very elegant and majestic look.

23. The Patriarch, Bristlecone Pine (Pinus longaeva), 43 feet

Bristlecone pine
jphilipg Bristlecone pine

The Patriarch is located in Inyo Forest and is thought to be about 1,500 years old. It is also thought to be the oldest multi-stem Great Basin bristlecone pine tree in the world. It was discovered in 1948. The tree is 12 feet wide and was even featured in an issue of National Geographic in March of 1958. It is sometimes confused with the Patriarch located in the Giant Sequoia National Monument.

22. The Grand Oak, Coast Live Oak (Quercus agrifolia), 61 feet

Quercus agrifolia Coast Live Oak.
Laura Camp Quercus agrifolia – Coast Live Oak.

At one time, local Native Americans gathered around this tree when they came to gather edible crops during the summer months. After that, it became a stage coach stop and even became Riverside County’s first historical landmark. There is a hand-forged iron chain embedded into the base of the trunk, which is assumed to have been put there by stage hands passing through the area. It is estimated to be 900-1,300 years old.

21. Camphor Tree in California State Capitol Museum, Sacramento, Camphor Tree (Cinnamomum camphora), 75 feet

Cinnamomum camphora Camphor tree
Forest and Kim Starr Cinnamomum camphora (Camphor tree)

While the exact measurements of this tree are not known, we do know that it was planted in 1870, which makes it more than 150 years old. It is a large and beautiful tree that is frequently photographed by tourists and by people who plan special events around the tree, such as weddings. 

20. Torrey Pine in Palm Park, Coronado, Torrey Pine (Pinus torreyana), 76 feet

Pinus Torreyana
Richard O. Barry Pinus Torreyana

This tree is especially bushy at the top and is surrounded at the base with a structure to protect it and to prevent people from getting too close to it. It is a beautiful tree with a girth of roughly 19 feet and is certainly a sight to behold.

19. Bennett Juniper, Western Juniper (Juniperus occidentalis), 78 feet

Juniperus occidentalis
Jason Hollinger Juniperus occidentalis

Known as the largest juniper tree in the United States, the Bennett Juniper is located in the Stanislaus National Forest in Tuolumne County on an inholding. It is owned by the Save the Redwoods League, and the man the tree was named after, Clarence K. Bennett, thought the tree was roughly 6,000 years old. Since then, most experts believe the Bennett Juniper is closer to 3,000 years old.

18. San Bernardino Oak, Canyon Live Oak (Quercus chrysolepis), 95 feet

Quercus chrysolepis Canyon live oak
Matt Lavin Quercus chrysolepis (Canyon live oak)

The canyon live oak is an evergreen tree with horizontal branches and usually gets to no more than 100 feet, making the one in San Bernardino a rare one indeed. Most of the larger ones, in fact, are found in the mountains of Southern California, so it is not a surprise to find one this size in this area of the state.

17. Deodar Cedar in California State Capitol Museum, Sacramento, Deodar Cedar (Cedrus deodara), 95 feet

Deodar Cedar
Willamette Biology Deodar Cedar

This tree was planted in 1860, which makes it more than 160 years old. The girth of the tree is roughly 20 feet, and it is located in Sacramento. It is an elegant-looking tree with lots of branches and greenery, and is located right next to a sidewalk in the park and therefore is easy to admire.

16. Sir Monty Cola, Western White Pine (Pinus monticola), 97 feet

Pinus Monticola
Pinus Monticola

The diameter at breast height (DBH) of the Sir Monty Cola is roughly 6.5 feet, and it is located in Sierra County in Lincoln Valley. The three might not look that spectacular to a lot of people, but it is still a rather large tree that feels amazing to be standing next to.

15. Monterey Cypress in Pescadero, San Mateo County, Monterey Cypress (Cupressus macrocarpa), 101 feet

Monterey Cypress
PunkToad Monterey Cypress

Located just south of San Francisco off Highway 1, this tree is on the National Register of Champion Trees and the California Big Tree Registry. If you visit the tree, you’ll notice cables among some of its branches, which is one of the methods used in preserving the tree. It is indeed a massive tree and measures 111 feet wide and nearly 50 feet in circumference. 

14. Moreton Bay Fig in Balboa Park, San Diego, Moreton Bay Fig (Ficus macrophylla), 101 feet

Moreton Bay Fig
Richard Reeve Moreton Bay Fig

This tree is more than one-hundred years old, having been planted in 1914. It was a part of the San Diego County garden exhibit at the Panama-California Exposition, and it has a beautiful large spread of branches and leaves at the top. Since the tree was becoming damaged due to excessive foot traffic, a fence was installed around it in 1989 to protect the area. 

13. El Decapitato, Red Fir (Abies magnifica), 102 feet

Abies magnifica
Tobias Abies magnifica

The El Decapitato is located in Lincoln Valley just south of the Lincoln Valley Road. This is in Sierra County, and the girth of the tree is roughly 21 feet. The red fir tree is tall and slender and filled with lovely greenery, so it is a very interesting sight to behold. 

12. California Bay Laurel in Palo Alto, California Bay Laurel (Umbellularia californica), 124 feet

California Bay Laurel
Schmiebel California Bay Laurel

You can find these types of trees from Douglas County, Oregon to San Diego County, California, as well as on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada. It is also found along drainage areas in the Central Valley of California. The one found in Palo Alto is thought to be more than 250 years old and can be found in Santa Clara County in the Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve. 

11. Tasmanian Blue Gum in Mattole Road, Petrolia, Humboldt County, Tasmanian Blue Gum (Eucalyptus globulus), 141 feet

Eucalyptus globulus
Forest and Kim Starr Eucalyptus globulus

Located in a cemetery, this Tasmanian blue gum tree has a spread of 126 feet and a circumference of 49 feet. It is the tree that brought Dirty Harry star Clint Eastwood to his knees when it was measured and announced that this tree, and not one that belonged to Eastwood, was the tallest eucalyptus globulus tree in the country. The Petrolia Table Cemetery is tiny and in fact, this tree takes up most of it.

10. Valley Oak in Mendocino County, Valley Oak (Quercus lobata), 154 feet

Quercus lobata
John Rusk Quercus lobata

These types of trees can get up to 600 years of age and have bark that resembles alligator hide. The leaves have wide lobes and the branches are very spread out and elegant-looking. The trees also sometimes have mistletoe in the branches.

9. The Studhorse Tree, California Incense-Cedar (Calocedrus decurrens), 156 feet

California Incense cedar Calocedrus decurrens
Natasha de Vere & Col Ford California Incense-cedar (Calocedrus decurrens)

This very old tree is thought to be two separate trees that fused at the base; nevertheless, it is an amazing tree to visit, not just because of that, but also because of its sheer size. You can actually climb the tree up to the point where the two bases separate, and it’s in a beautiful area of the Condrey Mountain Roadless Area near Studhorse Creek. The diameter at breast height (DBH) is roughly 13 feet, and the two trunks separate once they get to around 13 feet off of the ground.

8. My Father, Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa), 232 feet

Pinus ponderosa
Forrest and Kim Starr Pinus ponderosa

Discovered in 1991, the tree is thought to be more than 1,000 years old. In addition, it is one of the highest pines of this species in the entire world. It has a circumference of roughly 19 feet, and it is located in Yosemite National Park.

7. Redonkulous, Sugar Pine (Pinus lambertiana), 263 feet

The Redonkulous is a massive tree indeed with a 10.3-foot diameter and an actual height of around 267 feet as of this writing. It is evenly shaped and is a large tree from top to bottom, so when you stand next to it, you’ll definitely feel small. It is found west of Lake Tahoe in Nevada County’s Tahoe National Forest. 

6. Lawson’s Cypress in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, Lawson’s Cypress (Chamaecyparis lawsoniana), 266 feet

Chamaecyparis lawsoniana
John Rusk Chamaecyparis lawsoniana

Located in a beautiful state park, this tree is not only very tall, but it also has a girth of nearly 30 feet, making it a truly exceptional tree. It is located in Del Norte County, and the park is also home to two coast redwoods that are even taller than the Lawson’s Cypress tree.

5. Western hemlock in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park in Orick, Western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla), 273 feet

Western Hemloc Tsuga heterophylla
abdallahh Western Hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla)

At nearly 20 feet in girth and 273 feet in height, this is a stately tree indeed. It has a wide base and lots of branches and greenery at the top, and it is located in Humboldt County.

4. Sitka Spruce in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, Sitka Spruce (Picea sitchensis), 275 feet

Sitka Spruce
Matt Howry Sitka Spruce

The circumference of the trunk of this tree is 487 inches (over 40 feet), and it has a crown that spreads to 68 feet. It is found in a park and you can see it from the side of the road. Nevertheless, you owe it to yourself to get up close and personal with this tree because it is so fantastic in size and stature. It is also surrounded by a lot of greenery so it is a beautiful area to view.

3. Super Colossus, Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens), 277 feet

Sequoia sempervirens
Tim Sheerman-Chase Sequoia sempervirens

Located roughly 250 miles north of San Francisco, the Super Colossus makes its home in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park and is a rather unusual tree. This is because it has a hollow burl which engulfs two other redwood trunks, giving it a unique look and making it extremely large. The tree is nearly 30 feet wide and has a rather majestic look. 

2. Dyersburg Giant Tree, Dyersburg, Redwood, 372+ feet

The Dyersburg tree was once the Champion tree until 1991, but it is now fallen over on its side even though it is still there and still able to impress tourists. It is nearly 17 feet wide and is thought to be roughly 1,600 years old. It is located around 195 miles north of San Francisco, near a community called Weott, in Humboldt Redwoods State Park.

1. The General Sherman, Giant Sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum), 380 feet

Sequoiadendron giganteum.
Jim, the Photographer Sequoiadendron giganteum.

Estimated to be between 2,200 and 2,700 years old, the General Sherman is located in the Giant Forest of Sequoia National Park in Tulare County. When it comes to volume, it is known as the largest living single-stem tree on Earth. The largest branch on the tree has a diameter of nearly 7 feet, and the estimated mass (wet) is said to be more than 2,100 short tons.