Switzerland’s tallest tree is a 58-metre European silver fir

Keystone / Jean-christophe Bott

It is estimated that the tree – which is the second-tallest fir in Europe – dates back to 1744. 

This content was published on January 7, 2021 - 15:23

The giant conifer – known locally as the President Fir – can be found in the Couvet forest in the western Swiss canton of Neuchâtel. Its exact height is 58.02 metres, according to officials in the Val-de-Travers municipality where the forest is located.  

The last official aerial survey using Lidar technology was carried out in 2018. At the time, the tree was found to be 57.72 metres and growing at the rate of 15cm per year. Its current circumference is 4.7 metres, with a diameter of 1.5 metres. 

Considered as a reference for giant trees in the absence of official statistics at the European level, representatives of the website Monumental TreesExternal link carried out their own measurement of the tree in 2019: it was found to be 58.1 metres.  

Only one other fir tree (Abies alba) on the continent is taller, a 59.7-metre specimen in Montenegro, which could be up to 500 years old. 

If Switzerland’s President Fir maintains its current rate of growth, it should surpass its Montenegrin competitor in a few years. The tree is in fairly good condition, “although some signs of ageing are visible, including a somewhat narrow crown”, the municipality said. 

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