Slovenia Revealed
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The Pohorje mountain range in northern Slovenia is known for its vast swathes of unspoiled nature. (The picture is symbolic) Foto: BoBo

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The Tallest Spruce of All

Slovenia Revealed
31. October 2017 ob 08:55
Ljubljana - MMC RTV SLO

The Pohorje mountain range in northern Slovenia is known for its vast swathes of unspoiled nature. It is also the home of what is recognized as the highest Norway spruce in all of Europe – and possibly the world.

The tree’s exceptional height has long been known to locals. The first official measurements of its height were carried out in 1938, and even then the giant spruce measured an impressive 51 meters. But to the surprise of forestry experts, the tree was still growing. By the mid-1990s, its height already exceeded 60 meters, and ten years later, it soared to 61.8, a height that remains official to this day.

The tree, which is located on the Sgerm Farm near the village of Ribnica na Pohorju, is approximately 300 years old with a trunk that measures more than a meter in diameter. Its width isn’t exceptional, but fortunately for the tree’s long-term prospects, its root system is very deep, making it stable even in high winds.

Forestry experts from around the world have examined the Norway spruce and have failed to find a taller specimen anywhere else. Just to be on the safe side, several enthusiasts measured the tree the old-fashioned way: by climbing to the top with a tape measure. Their findings corroborated those of surveyors who relied on laser instruments – and confirmed that the Sgerm tree is indeed special. Realizing its uniqueness on a global scale, the Slovenian government granted official protection to the spruce.

The tree may not remain unique forever: Several exceptionally quickly growing spruces nearby are thought to be seedlings of the original and may one day themselves vie for the title of the world’s highest spruce.

Members of the Kristan family, who own the Sgerm Farm, are happy to show visitors their record-breaking tree. Over the years, they have given tours to several thousand people, who come to their remote part of the Pohorje range to marvel at a spruce unlike any other.

Jaka Bartolj