Hyperion, the 380-foot redwood currently recognized as the world's tallest tree, has been placed off-limits to visitors by the U.S. National Park Service. The tree, in Northern California, was only 'discovered' in 2006, taking the top spot from another redwood.
The Park Service action comes after the tree, which is off any established path, became a goal for hikers and others whose trek through the surroundings has begun to damage the base of the tree, as well as to leave the trail and tree area littered with trash. Under the new rules, entering the area could lead to fines of up to $5,000.
Besides the fines, NPS is also trying to downplay the tree and the trek to it, pointing out that it's actually skinnier than many other old-growth trees that lack its height, that the top can't really be seen—and that you could be on your own in an emergency, because GPS is spotty and there is no cell service.
For those who really want to see exceptionally tall redwoods, the Park Service has a Tall Trees Trail that passes by dozens of trees, many over 350 feet, although the then-tallest tree, which prompted the trail, is gone.