The Largest Trees in the World

A park ranger stands below the Lincoln Tree, along the Grant Tree Trail.
Lincoln Tree, Grant Tree Trail, Kings Canyon National Park. NPS Photo

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).

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 (one cubic meter) of wood each year, approximately equal to the volume of a tree that's 50 feet (15 meters) tall and one foot in diameter.

 

Top Thirty Largest Sequoias

General Table Information

This list of the world's largest giant sequoia trees were calculated based on trunk volume only. It does not include the volume of branches, foliage, or roots.

This list was compiled from data in the Wendell Flint Book, To Find the Biggest Tree (2002), as well as data collected by the National Park Service and U.S. Geological Survey in 2001 and 2012. Tree dimension may have changed since these measurements were collated.

Washington Tree

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.

This list of the world's largest giant sequoia trees were calculated based on trunk volume.
TreeSequoia GroveLand ManagerHeight (ft)Ground circumference (ft)Trunk Volume (cubic ft)

Last updated: July 7, 2020

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