Towering, majestic, and inarguably picturesque, I find myself gazing skyward, awestruck by the grandeur of beautiful Giant Sequoia Trees. I could not stare at the top branches without my jaw dropping to the floor and the huge trunk of the sequoias are beyond the field of view of any widest lenses if standing right underneath the tree.
California is home of both the largest Sequoia (located in the Sequoia National Park) and the tallest Coast Redwood (located somewhere in the Redwood National Park we visited last year and was kept secret to avoid damages to the ecosystem.). Sequoias grow naturally only on the west slope of California’s Sierra Nevada range, while Redwoods grow naturally only in a narrow strip along the Pacfic Coast. The sequoia has a massive trunk, huge stout branches, and cinnamon toned bark, while the Coast Redwood is taller and more slander.
[General Sherman Giant Sequoia, World’s largest tree]
[Giant Forest, in Crescent Meadow]
[Giant Sequoia cones]
Sequoias don’t die of old age and are resistant to fire and insect damage. They usually die from falling over. These chicken’s egg sized cone hang on trees for up to 20 years before falling to the ground waiting to be opened. Guess what makes them open? FIRE! That’s the key to make the cones dry, open and drop the tiny seeds which look like oat flakes. Fire also lets sunlight in and burns logs and branches on the forest floor to ashes as fertilizer.
[Seed sprout compares to Giant Sequoia named “The President”]
[Group of Giant Sequoias, named “The Senate”, on Big Trees Trail]
[Group of Giant Sequoias, named “The House”, on Big Tree Trail]
[Four Giants gate the road]
[The “Dragon” formation in Crystal Cave]
[A Corner of Kings Canyon]