Monday, March 1, 2010

General Sherman, the world's largest tree

General Sherman tree, the Giant Sequoia tree with a height of 275 feet (83.8 meters), is the world's largest individual organism by volume, since its wood volume was calculated in 1931. It means this sequoia tree is the largest tree in the world. This Giant Sequoia has a volume of 1,487 cubic meters (52,500 cubic feet), as measured in 2002. Its trunk alone is estimated to weigh over 1,800 tons. It is located in the Sequoia National Park, California, United States. The tree is believed to be between 2,300 and 2,700 years old.

However, the largest single-stem tree ever measured is the now dead Lindsey creek tree, a Coast Redwood tree with a minimum trunk volume of over 2,500 cubic meters (88,000 cubic feet) and a weight of over 3,300 tons. It fell over during a storm in 1905.

In 1879 General Sherman tree was named after William Tecumseh Sherman, the American Civil War General, by the naturalist James Wolverton, who had served as a lieutenant in the 9th Indiana Cavalry under Sherman.

In January 2006 the largest branch of the General Sherman tree, protruding from about 1/4th down the trunk, broke off. The broken branch had a diameter of over 2 meter (6 feet) and a length of over 30 meter (100 feet). However, the loss of the branch did not alter the tree's status as the largest tree, because its size has been calculated using measurements of trunk volume excluding branches.

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