THE GENERAL SHERMAN TREE
Probably the largest and oldest living thing in the world
Photograph by Lindley Eddy
OF the thousands, perhaps millions, of sequoia trees,
old and young, twelve thousand exceed ten feet in diameter. Muir states
that a diameter of twenty feet and a height of two hundred and
seventy-five is perhaps the average for mature and favorably situated
trees, while trees twenty-five feet in diameter and approaching three
hundred in height are not rare.
But the greatest trees have these astonishing
General Sherman: Height, 273.9 feet; base diameter,
37.3 feet; diameter above bulge, 22.1 feet.
General Grant: Height, 266.6 feet; base diameter,
40.3 feet; diameter above bulge, 21.7 feet.
Abraham Lincoln: Diameter, 31 feet; height, 270
California: Diameter, 30 feet; height, 260 feet.
George Washington: Diameter, 29 feet; height, 255
A little effort will help you realize these
dimensions. Measure and stake in front of a church the diameter of the
General Sherman Tree. Then stand back a distance equal to the tree's
height. Raise your eyes slowly and imagine this huge trunk rising in
front of the church. When you reach a point in the sky forty-five
degrees up from the spot on which you stand, you will have the tree's
height were it growing in front of your church.