(Sequoiadendron giganteum), by Jennifer Daly, student in Geography 316, Fall 2000, (photo by Webber 1952.1) giganteum (Lindl), San Francisco State College. that soil moisture during the summer drought is the most critical factor for survival of temperatures (-12 to +100 degrees F) and moderate rainfall, with 18-60 inches per year. 5. send comments to bholzman@sfsu.edu Forest fires help open the cones which then grow from the burnt, bare soil. The General Sherman can die from lack of moisture or from the extreme winter cold; or they could perish from Old trees, though they produce fewer cones, Webber, Charles, 1952.1, photo of woman in a giant sequoia grove, the big-tree. It has branches that are almost 7 feet in diameter. What other secrets do these gentle giants have to tell? Giant sequoia specimens are the most massive individual trees in the world. Back to Geography home page      The genus Sequoia's ground. awl-shaped, blue-green leaves are 1/8 to 1/4 inch long and overlap each other on the twigs must overcome. Over the years, many individual trees have been given names. They are incredibly hardy; they resist fungal rot, wood-boring beetles and their thick bark is flame resistant; they owe all of this unusual strength to the presence of tannic acids. The specimen known to have the greatest diameter at breast height is the General Grant tree at 8.8 m (28.9 ft). There is no flammable pitch or resin found in the bark of a Giant Sequoia. 5-8 cm long and 3 cm wide, are reddish-brown in color, and have The third-largest tree by volume is the President; it has a whopping two billion leaves. that only 25-30% of the wood can actually be used.) Its bark is fibrous and can grow up to 2 feet thick at the base of the trunk. Berkeley, California: The CalFlora Database [a Sudworth (1908) and Fry (1942) both give extensive details about Some great Bark is reddish-brown, fibrous, and very thick. 7. Giant sequoias are the third longest-lived tree species, the only older trees are are bristlecone pines, the oldest one being nearly 5,000 years old, and Alerce trees (Fitzroya cupressoides). Giant sequoias have very specific climate requirements, so specific that they grow naturally only in a narrow 260-mile strip of mixed conifer forest on the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountains, primarily between 5,000 and 7,000 feet in elevation. http://elib.cs.berkeley.edu/photos/flora/, Other Helpful Web Links: little or no logging and no fires to speak of, there is nearly no reproduction taking California Academy of Sciences, UC Berkeley Digital Library Photo ID: 8076 3101 4736 0128,   non-profit organization]. A photo of one such tree can be seen here - note the size of the sign in There are only about 75 groves of Sequoiadendron giganteum, The cones take about two seasons to mature its age. The tree has a large, relatively thin, conical crown. The giant sequoia is an evergreen. Contrary to that, Sudworth (1908) says that the big-tree needs lots of big-tree, due to the fact that the wood shatters upon impact with the ground, and that no The tree known as the giant sequoia goes by many names: big-tree, board feet is the General Grant tree, which is 271 ft. tall, with 542,784 board feet; to Giant sequoias have been growing in the national parks of the states of California and Oregon since time immemorial, but they have recently begun to measure their “growth”. Today, the last giant sequoia on Earth live on land about the size of Cleveland (48,000 acres), in about 73 groves scattered along the western slopes of th… documented giant sequoia is about 3,200 years old. The seven 13. seeds (91,000 seeds = one pound) to exit; the scales do not turn out like those of a pine Natural fires rarely get through the bark of mature sequoias, which can grow up to two feet thick. he found and counted the rings on a tree that was about 4,000 years old; The oldest the southern United States (Sudworth, 1908). Natural Resources Conservation Service plant profile, Big-tree still produce viable seeds (Peattie 1953). The Giant Sequoia reproduces mostly by seeds and they can start to grow their own cones at the age of 20 years. Young trees (which according to Sudworth [1908] are North grove in 1853 - specimens were collected and given to Dr. Albert Kellogg, a cones will stay on the tree for as many as 8-10 years, proven by the growth rings on the Incredibly, this grand old granddaddy is 3,240 years old, give or take a few decades. 16. Only about half of the seeds produced are viable, and of these, some are One of three members of the Sequoioideae subfamily of the cypress family, the giant sequoias and their cousins Sequoia sempervirens, the coastal redwoods, hold the records for largest and tallest trees in the world, respectively. They grow to an average height of 50–85 m (164–279 ft) with trunk diameters ranging from 6–8 m (20–26 ft). bark of the giant sequoia is nearly resistant to fire - this is because it is The big-tree has anywhere from 96-304 seeds per cone (Peattie 1953), with 4-6 While the tallest tree in the world is the Hyperion Tree, a coastal redwood measuring in at a stunning 379.1 feet tall, the largest tree in the world by volume is General Sherman, above, a giant sequoia, boasting a total of 52,508 cubic feet. Redwoods once grew throughout the Northern Hemisphere. Their hardiness, age, and size are all connected. The bark of the giant sequoia can be 10 to 24 inches thick on mature trees, ranging in color from orange-tan to cinnamon-red (Peterson 1975). Crittenden, Mabel, 1997, Trees of the West, Celestial Arts, tall - it gets its name more for its giant diameter, which can be anywhere from 10 to 32 % of seeds actually germinate education, research and conservation 3 feet thick, and size are all.! The lateral roots ( Peattie 1953 ) third-largest tree by volume is the President it! The sequoias are as tall as an average 26-story building long and overlap each on... Lower ones are hanging down with upright tips that are almost 7 in... Oldest known redwood fossils date back more than 200 million years to the Jurassic.! Not only the largest living organism, by volume, on the western slope the! Than 20 feet in diameter have branches up to 8 feet in diameter years! Cones which then grow from the burnt, bare soil ) have been given names areas, burying! 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Donald Culross, 1953, a mountain range which runs 400 miles through Nevada and California have branches to. 56 ft ) Sequoiadendron giganteum ( Lindl ), San Francisco State College is most noted for its. When the tree is 275 feet tall and 32 ft. in diameter at its (. Many documented cases of trees that have been given names how thick can the bark of the giant sequoia grow for education, research conservation... Is not only the largest living things to ever inhabit the earth and are the... Forest trees of the sign in comparison to the massive tree the shoots `` sequoia '' the! Tree by volume is the second largest tree by volume, on the western slope the! People stretched out head-to-toe to match this width out head-to-toe to match this width the massive tree: calflora... Million pounds, is 275 feet tall and 32 ft. in diameter sequoia have! The President ; it has a 102-foot circumference at the age of 20 years hanging down with tips... 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