• 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-min. to 1-hour delays in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks beginning Monday, June 2, weekdays only, between 5:30 a.m.-4:30 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 »

Seasonal Position of Fire Scars

Graphic showing fire scar details of a annual tree ring

NPS graphic

This image (figure 2 from Caprio & Swetnam 1995) illustrates the potential position of fire scars within an annual growth ring. It shows specific areas of an annual ring used to designate intra-annual fire-scar positions. Through detailed examination of where a scar was formed within a ring the approximate season of past fire occurrence can often be determined. Understanding the tree-ring growth phenology in a particular area further enhances the interpretation of this information.

In the Sierra Nevada scars formed in the earlywood (EE to LE) indicate fire occurrence during early-to-mid summer (uncommon in the southern Sierra Nevada). Scars formed in the latewood (L) indicate fire occurrence during late summer while dormant season scars (D) indicate fires late in a year (latewood and dormant season scars are the most common in this region).

Did You Know?

Sequoia cross-section shows evidence of much fire damage and recovery

Sequoia tree rings tell a fascinating story of survival and adaptation. Many sequoia cross-sections do not show a neat set of concentric growth rings. Among the rings are many scars — indicating repeated fire damage — and as many curved rings, the growth that eventually covered over the scars.