The Largest Trees… IN THE WORLD

(Turning the camera sideways for this one)

Sequoia is home to some big trees, really big trees. In fact, 5 of the largest trees in the world call sequoia home. If that isn’t enough for you, the largest tree in the word lives in Sequoia. Lets check it out!


Might as well just start here. General Sherman, the largest living tree by volume in the world. Just how big is this tree? Well for starters, you can’t fit the entire thing in one photo. It is 275 feet tall. The circumference of the trunk is over 33 meters (109 feet). The largest branch on the tree is 7 feet in diameter, a branch, not the trunk!


The top of General Sherman. This tree is 275 feet tall. The top of the tree is dead because water can’t reach that high but the tree continues to grow outward. Each year, the tree grows enough new wood to make a normal sized 60 foot tall tree.


If you walk far enough away, you can get a picture of the entire tree after all. Here it is, the largest tree in the world by volume. The tree is estimated to be 2200 years old.


Outdone only slightly, General Grant is the 2nd largest tree in the world. The trunk of this tree is 40 feet wide!


And the top part of General Grant. This tree was named in 1867 after war General Ulysses S Grant. Estimates put this trees age around 2700 years old.


This picture gives a great idea of the size of these trees. Yup, this tree is wider than a motor home!


I usually try to hide the tourists from my photos but figured I would add a healthy dose of reality here. Sequoia is a popular destination.


However, if you walk even just a few minutes from the parking lot, the crowds really thin out and you can be on your own among the giants.


The sequoia trees have more tannin’s in their bark compared to most trees which helps protect them from insects, fungus and rot. Most of these trees die from falling over, not old age. And yes, that is a giant pine cone in my hand.


Fires occur regularly in this forest. All of the old trees have experienced fire at some point in their lives. The thick insulating bark protects them from all but the hottest fires.


The fires also help clear out brush so the sunlight can reach the ground that new trees need to start growing. In addition, fire triggers the sequoia pine cones to open up and reach the soil when the leaves and dead fall on the ground are burnt away.


The giant sequoia trees only grow on the west slopes of the serial Nevada mountains between 5000 and 7000 feet elevation. Yet they sell saplings in the gift shop, I’m sure that will work out well when planted in your garden at home.


Another huge tree! Sequoia is the 2nd oldest national park in the US. John Muir, a conservationist proposed the park be created to protect the giant trees from logging. John Muir also pioneered the route up Mount Whitney: http://www.tripbagger.com/2019/09/11/shawn-bags-mount-whitney/


As I mentioned earlier, if your willing to walk even just a few minutes from the parking lot, you will have the place to yourself.


The size of these trees is just unbelievable. So much so that back in 1876 an entrepreneur cut down one of these trees and charged people to see a cross section of the tree at the Philadelphia exposition. Most people thought it was a hoax, as no tree could possibly be that big!


Of course, no trip to sequoia national park would be complete without driving your car through a tree. On to the next spot!



4 Comments

Christine · May 22, 2020 at 12:29 am

Stunning pictures.. Hope u have some on u walls. Chris

    Shawn · May 23, 2020 at 7:48 pm

    I don’t, but that is a great idea!

Ted · May 22, 2020 at 12:58 am

That’s one big toothpick … thanks for sharing!

    Shawn · May 23, 2020 at 7:49 pm

    It would remove even the most stubborn pieces of steak!

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