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Monday, September 1, 2008

Sequoia trees

The Sequoia (Sequoia gigantea) is the largest living tree in the world. Not by height but by mass.
Some of the named Sequoia's are 13 to 27 1/2' in diameter at 10-12 feet above the base.

The first photo is of me in front of a Sequoia in Sequoia National forest near Balch Park. It is around 40 feet in circumference at 10' above base.

Here's a closeup of a piece of Sequoia wood. I removed this from a section of cut timber that laid on the ground since around 1900. There are many such sections lying about. When the trees were harvested for lumber a lot of them shattered from impact with the ground. They tried all different sorts of ways to prevent this but to no avail. What a waste!

Here's a piece of bark from a downed section. Notice how its layered. This stuff is virtually fire proof. I set a piece of it in my camp fire and it took a long time before it started to char.

Here's another shot of the bark from the side showing layering.

This photo shows the fibrous nature of the bark. This piece weighs about 3 ounces and is a foot long. Amazing.

This is a group of Sequoia cones. The largest is only2 1/2 inches long. A lot of these cones were knocked from the trees by chickaree's, a type of squirrel that inhabits the Sierras. The one on the left has chew marks made by a chickaree. Most people believe that the cones from such a giant tree must be very large. They are somewhat disappointed when they see the real thing.

Here's a photo of some Sequoia seeds. Tiny, aren't they? These seeds have been shipped all over the world and there are Sequoia trees growing in many different places. Its hard to tell they're Sequoias as they look like most other pine trees. It will take a long, long time before they reach giant proportions.

Here's a photo of the base of the General Sherman tree in Sequoia National Park. This tree is 272' tall and 27 1/2' in diameter. It has been estimated to be 3500 years old. Hard to imagine how a living thing has survived that long.

This photo shows where a branch broke off of the General Sherman tree a few years ago.The branch hit the railing around the tree and smashed right through it. This branch was as big as some full grown tree's!

This photo shows fire damage at the base of the General Sherman tree. This happened hundreds of years ago. Notice how thick the bark is. In some places its 2 to 3 feet thick.

This is a photo of the General Sherman tree from a distance.

This is the top of the General Sherman tree.

Here's another side view of the General Sherman tree.

This is the base of the General Sherman tree.

This is a photo of a burl on the base of a Sequoia growing near the General Sherman tree. I hope you've enjoyed this post. Its such a wonderful privilege to be able to walk among these giants.

1 comment:

American Bushman said...

Great write-up.

It's hard to imagine a tree that size.

There are some big trees here but nothing that would even come close to the sequoia.