The Giant Sequoia -- Forest Masterpiece
It is difficult to appreciate the size of the giant sequoias because neighboring trees are so large. The largest of the sequoias are as tall as an average 26-story building, and their diameters at the base exceed the width of many city streets. As they continue to grow, they produce about 40 cubic feet of wood each year, approximately equal to the volume of a 50-foot-tall tree one foot in diameter.
The ages of the General Sherman, General Grant and other large sequoias are unknown, but it is estimated that these giants are between 1,800 and 2,700 years old. They have seen civilization come and go, survived countless fires and long periods of drought, and continue to flourish -- inspiring yet another generation of admirers.
The 30 largest Giant Sequoias (PDF; as of December 2012)
Did You Know?
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks could have been set aside solely to protect the amazing caves found here. The parks protect half of the caves more than a mile long in California, including the longest cave in the state. They contain Pleistocene-era fossils, rare minerals and unique animals.