Sunday, May 03, 2015
Trees for Fun Friday: The Giant Sequoia
Giant Sequoias, Parker Grove, Sequoia National Park, CA
We are now on our 7th week of Trees for Fun Friday, hosted by Melissa, of Blogging For Fun. We are featuring trees for 8 weeks, and in the last 3 weeks, I am featuring California trees where a National Park has been named for them, and has been established for their preservation. Last Friday, I featured the Joshua Trees in Joshua Tree National Park, and this week, I am featuring the giant sequoias.
Me and General Sherman Tree, Giant Forest, Sequoia National Park, CA
In terms of total volume, the sequoia stands alone as the largest living tree on Earth. The General Sherman tree is the largest tree in the world by volume. General Sherman tree is between 2,300 and 2,700 years old and continues to add enough wood growth each year. The largest of the sequoias are as tall as a 26-storey building. In all the world, giant sequoias grow naturally only on the west slope of California's Sierra Nevada ( sierra nevada is spanish for snowy range) , at elevations of 5,000 - 7,000 ft.
Us and the Sequoias
Although these trees are giants, but they actually sprout from seeds that are so small and light, that look like oat flakes. Mature trees may produce each year 2,000 egg-sized cones that collectively bear 500,000 seeds. The seeds however are only dispersed as cones are opened, but the cones hang on the tree green and closed for up to 20 years. Douglas squirrel, or a tiny cone-boring beetle may cause these cones to open, but fire is the main agent in the dispersal of seeds. The fire ashes also enhance sequoia seedling survival.
Sequoia National Park, California's first National park and America's second oldest, was established in 1890 to protect these giant trees.
@ Sequoia National Park South EntranceSequoia National Park does not contain only these giant trees but also contains Mt. Whitney, the tallest mountain in the US outside of Alaska. Sequoia National Park offers a diverse and unspoiled beauty, from the towering giant sequoias to huge mountains and rugged foothills, to deep canyons and vast caverns.
Divided Highway 180, Sequoia National Park, CA
The sequoias have seen civilization come and go, testifying to nature's admirable perseverance surviving countless fires and drought.