General Sherman – Sequoia National Park, California - Atlas Obscura

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General Sherman

Sequoia National Park, California

Quite simply the largest tree in the world (by volume). 


While it is not the tallest tree or the widest or even the oldest, General Sherman has split the difference and is thought to be the largest single stem tree by sheer volume.

Named after Civil War general William Tecumsah Sherman, this awesome, ancient arbor is located in Sequoia National Park in California. A giant sequoia, the tree is believed to be between 2,300 and 2,700 years old, it’s 275-feet tall and has a trunk diameter of 25-feet. Its total volume is estimated at an incredible 1,487 cubic meters, and the General is adding volume faster than ever, overturning previous theories that trees grow more slowly as they get bigger.

General Sherman’s largest branches are wider in diameter than most regular tree trunks. The largest of these branches fell down in a winter storm in 2006, and it was recorded as being over 7-feet in diameter and more than 98-feet long. Fortunately, the branch breakage isn’t thought to be a sign of poor health— just a natural process to help sequoias survive the worst weather.

The General’s claim to fame may not sound as sexy as many of the world’s other superlative saplings, but its health and sheer volume will keep it in the record books for centuries to come. 

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