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rees are a beautiful extension of nature that come in a large number of varieties and especially sizes. Sequoiadendron giganteum is known as the largest species of tree in this world. Some may say that these trees are taken out of a fantasy world by their large size. The species can grow up to 300 feet, although there have been speculations that larger examples existed in the past, but have been either cut down or burned in warfare.

This species is most predominant in the United States and that is most probably because it was one of the last continents to be colonized. In order for a specimen like this to grow so large, it takes centuries or even millenniums. The president is a well-known giant sequoia tree located in the Giant Fores of Sequoia National Part, east of Visalia, California.

A tree full of history

This particular tree has been examined by experts who say it is 3,308 years old. With a width of 27 feet (8 meters), a height of 247 feet (75 meters), and a volume of 44,567 cubic feet you could build a village of wooden cabins. The tree is a good attraction for all the tourists who want to see something that can be simply described as out of this world when compared to normal size trees.

It is believed that larger exemplars of over 300 feet in height have once been located in the same forest about 200 years ago. However, In the early 19th century, it was very common for lumberjacks to cut these giants down. Despite taking a lot of hard work as there was no machinery, some of them went out of their way to conquer what they called “a challenge”.

Loggers among the redwoods in California circa 1800s (Source: Ericson Collection/Humboldt State University Library)

Those who ventured to cut down such huge trees usually ended up dead, by the early 20th century, over 150 loggers have died being crushed by the falling giants. It was in 1893 that the United States government started to put some of the bigger examples of giant sequoia under protection whilst allowing the loggers to cut the smaller ones around them. Although this was a slow process as the law was only implemented in a few National Parks across the US that housed giant sequoia.

Over 100 people stand atop of and around a logged giant sequoia tree, Calaveras County, California, 1917. Photograph (Source: A. R. Moore/National Geographic Society/Corbis)

One of the lucky giants that came early under protection was the president, which is now considered the third largest giant sequoia tree in the world. What sparked the conservation of these giant trees was the death of one of the largest examplers about 160 years ago. The photo above is of all the people that have worked towards cutting one single giant tree, believed to be close to the size of the president.

The species itself is believed to be so big because it dates back to the prehistoric era when all the creatures were of massive size. Based on an analysis of some fossil remains of the genus sequoia from the Jurassic period, experts estimate that it first started growing around 180 million years ago. During those times these trees were offering shelter to small creatures as well as big flying reptiles or other predatory birds of larger sizes.

An interesting aspect is how this may have been the perfect food source for dinosaurs such as Brontosaurus due to their tall necks and their herbivorous appetite. It is incredible to see the species of an organism not change much over millions of years. Almost all organisms have downsized since the Jurassic era, yet this species of trees had a mind of its own and we should be glad for that as it offers us a better insight into this planet’s history.

A sight like no other

Reporters from National Geographic climbing “the president” in 2017 (Source: National Geographic)

Can you imagine the number of things this tree had lived through? Although it was lucky that it grew in the United States because it was untouched by humans (or at least by colonies) for so many years. Despite the nature of this species, it is amazing to see such a big tree, even making people think they have been left behind by the giants that once ruled this planet.

The photo that you see above is actually made by a collage of 124 photos taken of the tree. It is quite impossible to actually take one single photo capturing the whole tree. This was done in a winter expedition by a group of researchers from Humboldt State University with the help of National Geographic who actually climbed to the top of the tree in order to study each part of the tree. From the picture created, you can see that the size of a human is like a small ant next to the giant tree. It is like comparing an average size human to an insect.

Their study was documented in this short video and it even shows how all the pictures have been assembled to create the magnificent picture. Many people think that these trees have disappeared, but they still exist and it is our duty to preserve them.

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