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The President is 3200 years-old. It’s so big that it has never been captured in one photo

Nick Knight

Trees are the largest living things on the earth; they can live for thousands of years, and this specific tree is called The President. The President is the oldest known sequoia in the world and is so tall that it cannot be photographed in one picture by a person. It is also the second largest sequoia tree in the world, only being outdone by General Sherman.

Steve Sillett, a research scientist at Humboldt State University, has confirmed the tree’s size and status as the second largest sequoia. It isn’t as tall as the mighty redwoods, but it is way more massive.

View looking down valley from the bowl under Kaweah Gap, Sequoia National Park, California.
View looking down valley from the bowl under Kaweah Gap, Sequoia National Park, California. Photo Credit

The President stands at a whopping 247ft tall. The very tip has been blackened by lightning strikes; its massive branches jut out halfway up and hold millions of leaves. Although it is not as big as General Sherman, it has a much fuller crown.

The President’s trunk volume was measured at 45,000 cubic feet, with the branches adding another 9,000 cubic feet. The tree was actually named after President Warren G. Harding in 1923. The trees around it are named as well, one being called Chief Sequoyah, the 27th largest sequoia in the world, and two dense stands of medium-sized sequoias known as the “Senate” and “House”.

Sequoias are able to grow so big and for such a long time because of their dense bark, which can withstand disease, pests, and fast moving fire. The lifespan of sequoia dwarfs that of any other tree in the world.

Stem base of the President
Stem base of the President

Both sequoias and redwoods are very resilient, and it is because of this that they are the perfect candidates for pulling carbon out of the warming atmosphere.

Unlike the weak white firs that die so easily and send carbon back into the air. Even after redwoods die they are so rot-resistant that they won’t produce carbon for hundreds of years.

Sequoias are native to California, but early settlers took seedlings back with them and planted them in the British Isles and New Zealand. In 1850, a 15-foot diameter sequoia was planted. It is the largest planted tree in the world.

President (tree) Photo Credit
President (tree) Photo Credit

The President actually gains one cubic meter of volume each year; it is one of the fastest growing trees in the world.

Here is another tree story you may like – The story of the Camperdown Elm tree and the poet who saved it.

To photograph this massive tree, a team of photographers from the National Geographic used pulleys and levers to scale it.

After a total of 32 working days and 126 photos, we are finally able to see this beautiful tree in all its glory.

Nick Knight

Nick Knight is one of the authors writing for The Vintage News