The Ancient Tree Giant That Defies Nature

Redwoods are imposing trees, and they can live up to thousands of years old. The oldest of them all are residents of one small strip of land in the Sierra Nevada mountains, and they are stretching up to the sky and growing stronger and more beautiful each year. One sequoia tree there, in particular, has been making headlines with its rise to power, and its story is almost too large for words!

The Place Where Nature Shows Off

Image Credit: Unsplash

Image Credit: Unsplash

The Sequoia National Park of Southern Nevada is a place as unique as it can be. Its dramatic landscape is filled with beauty and diversity and features massive mountains, deep canyons, vast caverns, as well as something which no other place on the planet can pride itself with. 

The Home Of Giants

Image Credit: Unsplash

Image Credit: Unsplash

The Sequoia National Park is home to giants that have been living there for millennia and stretching into glory year by year. The world’s largest sequoia trees can be found here, growing next to each other like the ruling authority of the land they are a part of. The hiking trails can lead you to some jaw-dropping sights.

The Big Three

Image Credit: Unsplash

Image Credit: Unsplash

The park is the humble abode of three of the largest sequoias on the whole planet. The General Sherman Tree is the world’s largest living tree, soaring up 275 feet. It is humbly followed by the General Grant Tree, which pales at a mere 267 feet in comparison. The President Tree comes in third at 203 feet, but it is even more valuable than the others for a few specific reasons. 

The President

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The President Tree might not be the highest nor widest of them all, but this monumental redwood has something else going for it. It is considered to be the oldest sequoia tree in the whole world, dating back 3,200 years! Even though giant sequoias usually live around 3,000 years, The President clearly has no intention of calling it a day. Even though the odds are not always in its favor.

The Tough Life Of Giant Sequoias

Image Credit: Unsplash

Image Credit: Unsplash

Sequoias might be massive in size, but they definitely aren’t indestructible. In fact, they are pretty frail as far as trees go. They can only grow in a specific area, which happens to be the Sierra Nevada mountain range, and only at an elevation of 5,000 to 7,000 feet. Anything more or less and the trees won’t grow. The President is in a lucky spot, however.

The Peculiar Life Of Trees

Image Credit: Unsplash

Image Credit: Unsplash

Living on the land of giants, The President had to grow so as to compete for sunlight and water. The never-ending race of trees to outgrow each other is what gives our planet these looming colossuses. What’s more, trees don’t stop growing as they get older, and instead, they continue growing into glory. But only the strongest survive.

The Threats Of The Forest

Image Credit: Unsplash

Image Credit: Unsplash

Giant trees, or any trees for that matter, don’t have it all so easy. They have to face violent winds, lightning storms, wildfires, fungus, or pests, so if a tree makes it to considerably old age, it is because it was fit enough to withstand all the trials of nature. The President must have clearly been a strong specimen to make it to such an old age. And he had the body to show it.

The Sheer Mass Of The Tree

Image Credit: Getty Images

Image Credit: Getty Images

The President is as striking as it is impressive. It stands on four massive red limbs that form its base and extends out into the sky where its enormous crown grows. It is 27 feet in diameter at the base, making hugging it quite a challenge for people. It is impossible to capture the whole tree in one photo, let alone comprehend its immense presence. And its crown has been perplexing scientists for years.

The President Shows Strange Behavior

Image Credit: Getty Images

Image Credit: Getty Images

Scientists were aware of the fact that a tree continues growing in height as it ages, but what they were faced with when monitoring The President was something different. And it confused them. It appeared that the redwood giant kept growing in volume as well, spreading its crown year after year, and bulking up its trunk and branches. This growth would mean something important.

The Branch Volume Makes A Difference

Image Credit: Unsplash

Image Credit: Unsplash

The President might not be as tall as the other two giants in the park, but because of its constant growth in volume, the tree is now arguably the second largest sequoia. Its crown is fuller than the Sherman Tree, with almost two billion leaves to its name. And still, it keeps growing fast.

The Never-Ending Growth Spurt

Image Credit: Unsplash

Image Credit: Unsplash

The President simply doesn’t know how to slow down. The tree has been reaching up to the sky for millennia, trying to get the most advantageous position for sunlight and water to hit it, and it has been protecting itself with its constant bulking up. Because of this, The President is now believed to be one of the fastest-growing trees on the planet. The numbers never lie.

The Heavyweight Champion

Image Credit: Unsplash

Image Credit: Unsplash

The President has been measured to weight 54,000 cubic feet, making it the second-largest tree in the world by weight. But The President keeps growing, and scientists simply can not predict the eventual size it will get to before it finally collapses. Only time can tell the future of this majestic tree. But along with it, something else will go too.

The Purificator

Image Credit: Unsplash

Image Credit: Unsplash

Trees are nature’s filters. They allow us to breathe the air that we breathe, and our world simply would not be livable without them. When it comes to giant trees, such as the sequoias, the fact gains another level. The amount of CO₂ they are able to inhale is unbelievable and extremely important to humankind. And some people will do just about anything to get closer to the imposing beauty.

The Expedition Into The Sky

Image Credit: Getty Images

Image Credit: Getty Images

It was never possible to photograph The President in all its beauty, as it was simply too large to fit into one frame. Until 2009, when a team of dedicated researchers and photographers took up the task. The team had a difficult task ahead of them, but they were ready to ascend the heights of The President for the benefit of all. And the results were mesmerizing.

The First Full Photo Of The President

Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons/National Geographic

Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons/National Geographic

The expedition team spent 32 days climbing up the giant tree using rigging equipment and photographing each and every part of the colossus. In the end, 126 separate images had to be taken to be combined into one big whole that would, for the first time, show The President in all its glory. It was a day to be remembered.

The giant sequoias of Sierra Nevada are quite the sight. Not only do they have an impressive presence that reminds us of the ultimate power and beauty of nature, but they also reveal to us the unending possibilities and the inextricable connection of all living things on this planet. Living to be 3,200 years old, keeping the ecosystem healthy, and our oxygen plentiful is not something many beings can pride themselves with. 

Sources: National Park ServiceVisit CaliforniaVisit SequoiaFamous RedwoodsTreehuggerThe Sun GazetteThe Vintage NewsNational GeographicNPRUniversity Of Melbourne

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