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World’s second-oldest tree is so big it has never been photographed in one single image until now
The 247-foot tree is 3,200 years old and 27- feet in diameter.
D.G. Sciortino
11.08.22

At its center, Sequoia National Park is home to the world’s second-largest known tree.

It’s also one of Earth’s oldest.

The 247-foot tree is 3,200 years old and 27- feet in diameter.

And its foliage is thick.

There are 2 billion needles on the giant sequoia tree that lives in the Sierra Nevada, California park.

The tree is so famous that it even has a name. It’s known as “The President.”

The President was named after U.S. President Warren G. Harding in 1923.

Giant sequoias only exist in this place, in the western slip of the Sierra Nevadas, where The President lives along with some smaller trees.

These smaller trees are referred to as his “House” and his “Senate.” It’s not the largest tree in the world though.

There is a redwood in California that’s 379 feet fall.

Still, it is one of the largest when you consider its mass.

It is a very hearty tree when you consider the length and weight of all of its pieces.

“We know that there are trees that have bigger trunks, but when you add up all of the wood beside the main trunk – all of the limbs, all of the branches, all of the bio-mass above the ground – this tree is likely the biggest,” Humboldt State University’s Steve Sillett told Daily Mail.

The tree was so big that the entire tree had never been able to be photographed in a single photo.

But National Geographic photographer Michael “Nick” Nichols was determined to let the world understand just how truly massive this tree was.

So, he set out to get that photo with Sillet’s help. The scientists are regular redwood tree climbers and figured they could get the job done.

They used lots of equipment to scale the tree and compile a mosaic of 126 images. It took them over about 32 days to get all the shots in.

They used a rigging technique that Nichols came up with in 2009.

He used the method to create an 84-image composite of a 300-foot-tall redwood. Sequoia don’t grow as high as coast redwood and instead grow in bulk to withstand the high elevations where they grow, cold, heavy snow, and lightning strikes.

The photo was featured in a five-page fold-out issues of National Geographic in 2012.

‘The reason we want to do these portraits – people get it. When they see the tree in its totality without distortion, they gasp” Nichols said.

The tree measures about 45,000 cubic feet or about 127,800 milk cartons, according to Beauty of Planet.

Since The President is still growing, Nicols will have to return in order to rephotograph it.

It grows about a cubic meter of wood each year.

The best part about the photo is that there are two humans in it which give you an idea of just how large the tree is.

Check out the video below for footage of Nicols and Sillett working on photographing the tree.

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By D.G. Sciortino
hi@sbly.com
Dina is a contributing writer in Shareably. She's based in Connecticut and can be reached at hi@shareably.net.
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