Scientists and botanists call it “the President“. It is a giant sequoia located in the Giant Forest of Sequoia National Park, in California, and is believed to be at least 3000 years old. This tree may not be the tallest (“only” 73.5 metres, while the tallest is probably the Hyperion in Redwood National Park with its 116 metres), nor the widest (about 8 metres in diameter at the base), but… well, to be honest the President is not even tha largest tree in terms of volume. That one is its neighbour the General Marshall Tree.
Still, with a trunk’s volume of about 1.278 cubic metres (as measured in 2002), this old tree is said to be the second largest tree in the world. Enough to keep busy a team of tree-climbing scientists who measured it inch by inch. And well suited to pose for National Geographic photographer Michael Nichols for the December 2012 issue. The final result? A photographic mosaic of 126 images, as seen in this video prepared by the magazine to promote the next issue.
These bulky plants live at high altitudes and endure cold, snow, lighting strikes, but were once used for logging. Thankfully, the difficulties of cutting down such huge trees and most important the establishment of National and State Parks saved the rest of them.
Sequoia National Park was established in 1890 and spans 1.635 square kilometres. The tourist hit are the giant sequoia trees contained in the Giant Forest, where five out of the ten largest trees in the world are to be seen (in Summer, beacause during Winter entrance to the area is made almost impossible by the snow).