Defiant Redwood of the Week: General Sherman Tree

Taking ‘go big’ to a whole new level

General Sherman Tree. Photograph by Bill Fletcher
General Sherman Tree, by Bill Fletcher

When you spend your time talking about coast redwoods and giant sequoia, you get used to different scale, a scale that is actually hard to reconcile with most other things in the forest. But even for people who are conditioned to deal with BIG, the General Sherman Tree in Sequoia National Park is a whole different thing. Considered the world’s largest tree, measured by volume, it stands 275 feet tall, and is over 36 feet in diameter at the base. Sixty feet above the base, it is still 17.5 feet.

But throwing out numbers doesn’t really capture it. In fact, photos don’t really give you a sense, because it’s so big there’s no way to really get a decent picture of it. Perhaps this will help: In 2006 a 98-foot-long branch fell off the tree. So, basically, the Sherman Tree lost a branch the size of a huge tree … and was fine!

The General Sherman Tree is about 2,000 years old and is a giant among giants. In a world full of threats and challenges, it has planted its roots and set its defenses. It is strong and ready.

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About the author

Garrison Frost is the League's former Director of Communications.

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