• 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 Begin on Park Roads for 2014 Season

    Expect occasional 15-minute to 1-hour delays at various locations in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks beginning Monday, June 2, weekdays only, between 5 a.m.-3 p.m., 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, 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 »

Roads and Utilities Removal

Bucket of excavator rips up section of asphalt

An excavator removes pavement from the Giant Forest.

NPS photo by Athena Demetry

Asphalt pavement in roads, parking lots, and walkways was usually removed by lifting the pavement edges using the claw of an excavator or backhoe. In locations where close spacing of trees prevented use of large equipment, contractors often made use of small equipment such as Bobcats and "mini-excavators."

Concrete manholes, vaults, lift stations, footings, foundations, and sewage treatment facilities were removed completely, if possible. If unacceptable vegetation or soil damage would result from complete removal, or if complete removal was prohibitively expensive, the concrete was removed to at least 2 feet below the surface. Any remaining concrete was fractured prior to backfilling to allow water to drain through. Concrete utilities were removed by excavators and backhoes, but in locations not accessible to this equipment, such as the sewer line running beside Deer Creek, concrete was broken up using a jackhammer and hauled away by mules. All asphalt and concrete debris was recycled by crushing into ¾ inch chunks for use as road base in future construction projects.

To protect shallow roots, underground water and sewer lines were left in place unless portions were exposed during demolition. In such cases, pipes were removed until remaining portions were 2 feet below the surface. Pipes were removed by pulling horizontally rather than by digging and lifting. Ends of pipes to be left in place were plugged with concrete to prevent channeling of groundwater.

Underground propane tanks were purged of any remaining propane and removed completely.

Where telephone lines, electric lines, or light fixtures were attached to live trees, the connecting brackets were removed completely, if possible. If the tree had grown around the bracket to such an extent that removal would injure the tree, protruding parts were cut flush with the tree and the remainder left in place. In most cases contractors were able to remove the entire fixture.

Did You Know?

Walter Fry in NPS uniform

After spending five days with five men cutting down a single sequoia, Walter Fry counted the growth rings on the fallen giant. The answer shocked him into changing careers. In just a few days they had ended 3266 years of growth. Fry later became a park ranger and, in 1912, the parks' superintendent.