One of the tallest trees in the world is the famous giant sequoia. It can be seen on the slopes of Sierra Nevada Mountains in California, USA. Sequoias love dry and hot summers and cold, snowy winters. Besides being one of the tallest trees, they are one of the oldest living things on Earth too. They live about 2500 years! Giant sequoias can reach 85 m. in height and up to 8m in diameter! They have bark which is fire resistant and 92 cm. thick. Sequoias are evergreen trees and an adult one can have about 11 000 cones a year! Their crown is enormous and round. The fact that this kind of tree resists to fire is very interesting. Actually, initially people tried to protect it from the frequent for this region forest fires but soon they realized that the giant sequoias are used to them. Moreover, they benefit from fire because it cleans the land from other plants and assists the breaking of the cones from which the seeds come out. So it is important to mention that now we know that the forest fires in Sierra Nevada help, as a matter of fact, the giant sequoias.
This botanic species was first discovered in 19th centuries and was given its name after the Cherokee Native American, Sequoyah (1767 – 1843). For some time it was of a great interest to loggers because of its huge volume but soon became protected. Unfortunately, nowadays it is one of the endangered species.
Giant sequoias are touristic attraction and plenty of people travel hundreds of kilometers to see them! Although some people use the terms giant sequoia and giant redwood interchangeably, we should say that they differ a bit. For instance, the redwood sequoia requires more humid environment, whereas its cousin the giant sequoia prefers higher elevation habitats. Some of these trees are phenomenal specimens. For example, the so-called General Sherman weighs about 2100 tonnes!!! It is also the largest living organism on the planet! General Sherman is followed by other giant sequoias named General Grant, Lincoln and President!
The sequoia is so incredible and typical for the national parks in California that it is on its list of state symbols next to the California gray whale, the California dogface butterfly, the desert tortoise and the famous California grizzly bear!