The mid-sierra zone (5,000-8,000 ft or 1,524-2,438 m) creates ideal conditions for giant sequoia growth. Mild winter and summer temperatures, deep winter snowpack, and a rich fire history have made it possible for the world's largest tree to get its biggest in these parks. Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks boast many of the world's largest trees by volume. The General Sherman Tree is the largest in the world at 52,508 cubic feet (1,487 cubic meters). The General Grant Tree is the second largest at 46,608 cubic feet (1,320 cubic meters).
Top Thirty Largest Sequoias
General Table Information
This list of the world's largest giant sequoia trees was calculated based on trunk volume only. It does not include the volume of branches, foliage, or roots.
Until 2003, the Washington Tree in Giant Forest (Sequoia National Park) was the second-largest sequoia. After being reduced by fire, it no longer ranks among the top 30.
General Grant and President Trees
Scientists measured the President Tree extensively in 2011-12. They discovered that if branch volume is included with trunk volume, the President Tree is the second largest and the Grant Tree is the third largest (see "Scaling a Forest Giant" National Geographic, December 2012).
Unnamed Tree (12th largest)
As part of a park-approved project, this unnamed tree was found and measured in 2001.
Explore Sequoia Groves
Whether you see them from your car or hike to a remote grove, giant sequoias inspire awe and wonder.
Learn about the largest trees in the world, and their relationship to fire and climate.
Threats to Giant Sequoias
Learn more about recent threats to giant sequoias in this web article - including hotter droughts, bark beetles, and severe wildfire.
Giant Sequoias and Climate
Climate plays a key role in giant sequoia groves.
Giant Sequoias and Drought
Recent severe drought and tree mortality prompted research to study the sensitivity of giant sequoias to drought.
Giant Sequoias and Fire
Learn more about the role fire plays in giant sequoia groves.
Last updated: November 23, 2023