The General Sherman Tree found in the Giant Forest is the largest tree in the world by volume (slightly over 52,500 cubic feet / 1,486.6 cubic meters – apparently that’s enough to build 120 average sized homes!). It’s not exactly small height wise either at 275 feet / 83 metres tall! The top of the tree is actually dead so it will not grow taller but the trunk will continue to grow wider. At the moment the diameter of the trunk at its base is 36.5 feet / 11.1 metres and 109 feet / 33 metres in circumference! Not bad for a 2,200 year-old!
Famed conservationist John Muir (April 21st, 1838 – December 24th, 1914) helped preserve Sequoia National Park and many other wilderness areas within the United States. When discussing logging of the Giant Sequoia trees he said: “As well sell the rain clouds and the snow and the rivers to be cut up and carried away, if that were possible.” This statement really sums up the folly of destroying such ancient wonders.
The amazing things with these mighty Giant Sequoia trees is that despite fire (you can see a big fire scar on many of the big trees), lightning, earthquakes, drought, logging prior to the National Park days etc. they soldier on. John Muir wrote: “Most of the Sierra trees die of disease, fungi etc. but nothing hurts the big tree. Barring accidents, it seems to be immortal.” Actually the tree bark can be up to 31 inches / 78.7 cm thick, it is almost like natural armour to protect them and chemicals in the wood and bark help protect them from insects and fungi (the biggest risk to the tree is strong winds and falling over as they are so heavy and a have a shallow root system). Mother Nature at her finest!