The General Sherman Giant Sequoia Tree, Sequoia NP
The General Sherman Tree has a 103 feet circumference around its base! That's just one of the amazing accolades of this Giant Sequoia Tree located in Sequoia National Park. Take a look at the General Sherman Tree's information and size in this picture.
The sheer size of the General Sherman is absolutely awesome. At 275 feet tall and an estimated weight of 1256 metric tons, it holds the title of being "the largest living thing on Planet Earth!"
Congress Trail, Sequoia National Park
The General Sherman tree is estimated to be over 2000 years old. It is located close to the Congress Trail parking area off the Generals Highway. The Congress trail is a 2 mile self guided nature trail. It's an easy hike and suitable for families with children, starting from the General Sherman parking lot.
The Congress Trail is about a one and a half hour hike and is considered to be one of the most popular easy-walking trails in the park. It can therefore be busy during the summer months. That said, the authors saw a Black Bear roaming around just off this trail during a visit to Sequoia in September.
The President Tree and McKinley Tree can also be found further down the Congress Trail loop.
Giant Sequoia Tree Survival
Giant Sequoias are one of the fastest growing trees - growing (on average) between one and two feet a year until they reach a maximum height of 200 to 300 feet when they start growing a bigger girth rather than gaining more height.
The hard redwood of Giant Sequoias contributes greatly to their longevity through its resistance to decay. Giant Sequoia trees are also known to release both insect and fungi repelling chemicals making their huge trunks less of a natural target for insect and fungal predators.
California's Giant Sequoia Tree Groves
Giant Sequoia Trees require very special conditions to grow. Prolonged sub-zero weather is known to kill young trees and this explains why California's Sequoia Groves are not found above about 7,500 feet. Young Sequoia trees in particular need sustained soil moisture for survival. Many seedling Sequoia trees die in their first few years as a result of the dry summer conditions prevalent in California. Successful Sequoia Groves (of which there are only about 75) seem to have just the right moisture and temperature conditions for seedling Sequoia survival.
No visit to Sequoia National Park is complete without a trip to see the General Sherman Tree. It helps you appreciate the sheer awe-inspiring scale and power of nature!