• Giant Sequoia Trees

    Sequoia & Kings Canyon

    National Parks California

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  • Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Institute Stage 2 Fire Restrictions

    Effective July 28, 2014, the parks are in Stage 2 fire restrictions. See link below for more information. These restrictions will remain in place until further notice. More »

  • Road Construction Delays on Park Roads for 2014 Season

    Expect occasional 15-minute to 1-hour delays in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks on weekdays only (times vary), including delays to/from the General Sherman Tree, Crystal Cave, and Grant Grove. More »

  • Vehicle Length Limits in Sequoia National Park (if Entering/Exiting Hwy 198)

    Planning to see the "Big Trees" in Sequoia National Park? If you enter/exit via Hwy. 198, and your vehicle is longer than 22 feet (combined length), please pay close attention to vehicle length advisories for your safety and the safety of others. More »

  • You May Have Trouble Calling Us

    We are experiencing technical problems receiving incoming phone calls. We apologize for the inconvenience. Please send us an email to SEKI_Interpretation@nps.gov or check the "More" link for trip-planning information. More »

Ecological Restoration Overview

Park technician plants herbage within a marked out area.

Trees, shrubs, and herbaceous vegetation are planted within forest gaps where buildings and parking lots once stood.

NPS photo

After a century of human use and development, the forest ecosystem in Giant Forest had changed in several ways. Paved roads, trails, and parking lots changed drainage patterns, allowing water to concentrate and create erosion gullies. Vehicle and foot travel compacted the soil and quickly broke down needles and twigs on the soil surface, depleting the topsoil of organic matter. Groups of mature trees were cleared for buildings and parking lots. Fire, on which giant sequoias depend for regeneration, could not be used in Giant Forest Village. There were very few grasses, wildflowers, shrubs, or tree seedlings in the Village because of lack of fire and human trampling.

Ecological restoration is the process of assisting the recovery and management of ecological integrity. In Giant Forest, the goals of ecological restoration were to:

  1. Regrade roads, trails, parking lots, and other altered landforms to approximate original topography and drainage patterns.
  2. Restore soil properties to approximate those of surrounding, undisturbed soils.
  3. Restore the vegetation in the short term by reproducing the species composition, density, and spatial pattern of regeneration that would result from a natural fire event
  4. Restore the vegetation in the long term by integrating the site into the natural fire regime typical of surrounding areas of Giant Forest.

Did You Know?

Conifer forest.

The richness of the Sierran flora mirrors that of the state as a whole. Of the nearly 6,000 species of vascular plants known to occur in California, over 20% can be found within Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.