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The Tallest Trees on Earth

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Photo by Leneah Herrin

Are you looking for a somewhere to vacation for a week? Someplace that will wow you and where you can get some amazing pictures? Someplace with hikes, history, and scenery? Then California’s Redwood and Sequoia forests are the destinations for you!

The Redwood and Sequoia forests are living pillars of history. These sentinels hold lifetimes of memories from the earth—some of them have been alive since Christ lived, and even a little bit before that. One tree, named President, is the oldest living Giant Sequoia, whose age researchers estimate to be around 3,200 years old. And you can go see these amazing trees—all you need is a week to witness the majesty of these trees and a readiness for adventure.

Photo by Leneah Herrin

Unfortunately, the Redwood and Sequoia trees are now endangered, with only 5 percent of the trees left. This is because in recent past their wood was in high demand for lumber use in construction. Redwood and sequoia wood is extremely resistant to fire, insect, and rot. This allows them to live for as long as they do, but those same qualities made their wood very valuable. Eventually the trees became protected, but now only a small number remain.

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Photo by Leneah Herrin

What You Can See There

The Sequoias are in California’s southern Sierra Mountains and are the world’s largest trees in volume. You can go see the largest of them all, named General Sherman, estimated to be 2,300–2,700 years old, with a volume of around 52,500 cubic feet. General Sherman’s base has a diameter of over thirty-six feet! That large, it takes approximately twenty people to completely encircle the base of the trunk. Redwoods grow on the northern coast of California and are the world’s tallest trees, growing more than 300 feet high. If you go to the Redwood forest, you will be able to see the tallest tree in the world, named Hyperion, which has grown to be 380 feet tall. One amazing fun fact you can learn in the Redwood forest is that despite the trees growing as tall as they do, their roots do not extend farther than six to twelve feet deep. What keeps these majestic trees from falling is that their roots extend up to one hundred feet around them, intertwining with the roots of the neighboring trees. These trees literally hold up and support each other.

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Photo by Leneah Herrin

What You Can Do There

In the Redwood forest, you can drive through and enjoy the scenery from your car, hike on trails through the forest, and see some of the most beloved Redwoods, among which is Hyperion. The Sequoia forest offers similar activities. In addition, you can spend a few days camping at one of the campsites in Sequoia National Park, and go explore museums featuring information about the Sequoias.

If you have the opportunity to take a few days to go and see these trees, take it. You will have an unforgettable experience. These striking trees are truly a magnificent sight to see. And then share with others what you learn, to keep these endangered trees protected so that future generations will be able to marvel in their majesty, just like we can now.
—Leneah Herrin

Photo by Leneah Herrin