Friday, July 24, 2015

Meet The General Sherman - The Largest Living Thing on Earth (Sequoiadendron giganteum)

Within Sequoia National Park in California there is a Forest of Giants.....trees that is!  The most notable of all the trees in the Forest of Giants is the General Sherman.  A Giant Sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum), that is currently the largest living thing on planet Earth.

Image Citation: Joseph O'Brien, USDA Forest Service,

The General Sherman is not the tallest tree on Earth, that honor belongs to Hyperion (Coast Redwood also in California), nor is it the widest, or even the oldest, but it is the largest!  The General has a combined estimated bole volume of 52,513 cu ft.  It is 274+ feet tall, 102+ feet in circumference at the ground, 36 1/2 feet in diameter at the base, with a crown spread of 106+ feet.   It's age is estimated to be between 2300 and 2700 years old.  There have been others that have live before that are recorded to have more volume but the General Sherman remains, standing proudly within The Forest Of Giants.   Named in 1879, after the American Civil War General William T. Sherman by Naturalist James Wolverton who had served under him as a Lieutenant.  

Pictures will never do justice to a tree such as this one, this is a must see in person Giant!  Plan your visit to see this National Treasure in person at: 

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Thursday, July 16, 2015

Meet The "Major Oak of Sherwood Forest" - (Quercus Robur)

There is a very unique English Oak tree (Quercus Robur) growing in Sherwood Forest near the small village of Edwinstowe, Nottinghamshire, England which is rumored to be where Robin Hood and his men would hide out, in it's hollow trunk sections. It is called the Major Oak and is estimated to be between 800 - 1000 years old. In 2014 it was even crowned "England's Tree of the Year", because of this honor it will represent England in the running for the "European Tree of the Year" against entries from both Wales and Scotland.

Image Citation:

Major Oak was not always the name this tree was called. It has also be recorded as the Queen Oak, and the Cockpen Tree. The current name "Major Oak", originated from Major Hayman Rooke's very popular book about the ancient Oaks of Sherwood Forest from 1790.

Estimated to weigh around 23 tons, it has a diameter of over 33 feet and a crown spread of 92 feet - it is claimed ot be the largest Oak tree in all of England.  The Major Oak has been in a conservation status since the early 1900's. When visiting the tree today you will find a fence surrounding the base of the tree which serves as protection for it's roots and truck from foot traffic. During the Edwardian period there were chains used to support the branches and lead sheets around the trunk, these were replaced in the 1970's by wooden supports, which were replaced by the steel support rods that remain in place today.

From the Sherwood Forest Visitor Center you are a 10-15 minute walk from this Majestic Old Major Oak. The visitor center is open daily (the hours vary by season) and allows you to explore not just the Major Oak but the 450 acre forest that is home to an estimated 900+ veteran Oak trees. If that is not enough to draw you in there is also an Annual Robin Hood Festival in August that celebrates the Legendary Home of Robin Hood and his Men.

To learn about other Destination Trees visit our website or our blog