OXFORD-based scientists have helped discover the world's tallest tropical tree.

The Yellow Meranti, which may also be the planet's 'tallest flowering plant', measures more than 100 metres and would extend beyond both goals on a football pitch if laid down.

Video: Luke Malhi

Oxford University researchers trekked out to the tree, in the rainforests of Sabah, Borneo, and conducted high-resolution 3D scans and drone flights last summer, which has now produced 3D visualisations. And Cherwell schoolboy Luke Malhi – the son of one researcher – has created a video telling the tree's story.

It shows the tree, which a local climber scaled with a tape measure in January, towering over the canopy at 100.8 meters.

Dubbed ‘Menara’ - which is Malay for ‘tower’, it weighs some 81,500 kg - more than the maximum takeoff weight of a Boeing 737-800, even without its roots.

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Dr. Alexander Shenkin, the Oxford researcher who conducted the 3D scans, said: “Menara's location in a sheltered valley protects it somewhat and probably aids it to grow to such extreme heights. There may also be other factors, such as the challenge of sucking water 100 m up a tree, that limit the maximum height of broadleaf trees to around 100m.”

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Professor Yadvinder Malhi, who leads the lab studying the 3D structure of the tree, added: “There could still be taller trees, however given the evidence on the mechanical constraints caused by the wind, it is unlikely (to) be much taller.

“The discovery of this remarkable tree provides additional recognition to, and impetus for, efforts to conserve these magnificent, biodiverse and record-breaking tall rainforests”