Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Giant Sequoia

The giant sequoia, also known as the giant redwood, is one of three species of redwood (the others are the coast redwood and dawn redwood). They are the most massive trees on earth. They only occur naturally in 68 scattered groves on the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California. They have an average height of from 164 feet to 279 feet and trunk diameters ranging from 20 to 26 feet. Coast redwoods have been found with diameters greater than all known giant sequoias, but the coast redwood trunks taper at lower heights than giant sequoias, which have more columnar trunks. The bark may be as much as three feet thick at the base of the trunk and the sap has tannic acid which gives it fire protection. The leaves are evergreen and awl shaped and are arranged spirally. They are found at elevations from 4,600 to 6,600 feet in the north and 5,580 to 7,050 in the south. 
This photo and the next two are from the General Grant Grove. I did not even save any of my photos of the General Grant Tree. 

Five of the ten largest giant sequoias, determined by volume of the trunk, are found in the Giant Forest Grove in Sequoia National Park, including the largest, the General Sherman Tree, which is 274.9 feet tall, with a girth of 102.6 feet near the ground, and with a volume of 52,508 cubic feet. We saw it, as well as the third largest tree, the President Tree, which is 240.9 feet tall, has a girth of 93 feet and a volume of 45,148 cubic feet. The second largest tree, the General Grant Tree, is in the General Grant Grove in Kings Canyon NP and is 268.1 feet tall, a girth of 107.5 feet and a volume of 46,608 cubic feet. We recently visited Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks with our son, Sam, and I found it nearly impossible to determine relative size with my naked eye. In fact, I found the General Sherman and General Grant Trees to be relatively unimpressive, visually as well as size-wise, whereas the President Tree was extremely impressive in both regards.   
I didn't keep any photos of the General Sherman Tree either. This, however, is a photo of the President Tree with Judy at the base. It was extremely impressive. 
In addition to the President Tree, I loved the Senate, a grouping of giant sequoias on the Congress Trail which is near the President Tree and the House grouping of trees. That was by far my favorite collection of giant sequoias. The next two photos are also of the Senate. 
The photos have to be taken in segments as the trees are just too large to get them all in in one photo. 

This photo, and the next four, are all of the House. 

This last photo may also be of the Senate. 
Three of the giant sequoia groves are in Yosemite NP, 5 are in Kings Canyon NP, 29 are in Sequoia NP and 39 are in Giant Sequoia National Monument (some groves are in multiple national parks or monuments), which I'd never heard of before. Giant Sequoia NM was created by President Clinton in 2000 and has two sections, a northern section which surrounds the General Grant Grove and other parts of Kings Canyon NP and a southern section which is south of Sequoia NP.   

1 comment:

  1. I thought this was the best part of either Kings Canyon or Sequoia National Park. I like the fun names for the trees, and the relatively small groupings of giant trees were very interesting. I have a great photo of you standing in front of the Senate. You should add it to this post.