The magnificent sequoia trees are massive and full of grandeur. They can live for three thousand years and have various survival tools that enable them to live much longer than other trees that have a life span of around 300 years. They have thick, fibrous bark that insulates against fire and actually require fire to proliferate. Fires clear out other trees and activate their seeds to begin growing. They also have chemical tannins in their bark that resists disease and insects.
General Sherman is the largest sequoia tree in Sequoia National Park. It is the largest sequoia tree by volume and weight.
General Grant is the largest sequoia in King’s Canyon National Park and is the widest sequoia tree in the world at 40 feet across. It would take 20 people holding hands to reach around its base.
The growth rings of this cross-section of a sequoia show that it lived 2,210 years and survived 80 fires that burned hot enough to leave a scar.
Because of the wildfires ravaging California, there was significant smoke during parts of our road trip. Luckily, because the sequoia trees were close up, it didn’t hinder our admiration. But the smoke did prevent us from driving the King’s Canyon Scenic Byway. We will have to leave that for next time!