Giant Sequoia’s Pt. 2 – General Sherman Tree

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The other main giant sequoia in Sequoia National Park is the General Sherman Tree, the largest living tree on earth by volume. In addition, there were some great sequoia ecology lessons available to show you and a trip up morro rock in a thunderstorm (bad idea).

The park itself is magnificent and very well constructed.

P1100429

Enormous trees were just about everywhere

 

 

 

P1100432

This one was particularly straight

 

 

 

P1100440P1100441

They were equally happy on very steep hillsides as up in the meadows

P1100442

Their characteristic hue

P1100443

A massive tree base

P1100444

These ones that grew up close together have fused into a single group tree

P1100450

This was a particularly dense group

P1100456

Can you see the young sequoias? how about the difference between the doug fir and the giant sequoia?

P1100541

These are the leaves, or needles, of the sequoia. Coast redwoods have very similar leaves at the tops of their trees, but are radically different closer to the forest floor

P1100545

The cones are also different, with sequoia cones the size of a small egg, and a redwood the size of a marble. When they dry out the seeds slip out onto the ground, hoping to find fertile soil

P1100546

This giant, burned-out stump shows how to get fertile soil for these trees

P1100570

After a fire, the survivors thrive in the cleared forest and seedlings take root in the cleared and nutrient rich soil

P1100571

This tree was hit by another, causing a large, 6-foot burl growth and was recently singed in a controlled burn

P1100572

Black bears are quite common in this part of the sierra’s, here is the only shot I got of a very cute cub walking away

P1100573

The trail was terrible, they used to have parking right by the tree, but force everyone, even in the off-season, onto a very long and steep walk that starts with this lovely sign area

P1100600

The general himself, from above

P1100603

It isn’t the widest, or the tallest, but it grows more wood each year than any other tree, and is the most wood on a living tree (not counting those without a real trunk)

P1100608

Up high it didn’t seem to have much foliage

P1100610

But each branch was bigger than most trees, this one had to be at least five feet in diameter

P1100612

Old, fallen limbs

P1100613

This gigantic lug of a branch crushed the concrete walkway when it fell. They detoured the trail slightly around it

P1100614

I should have gotten here earlier, this is morro rock, and the 300 or so steps to the top are a long haul and the thunderstorms were approaching

P1100689

I thought I could get to the top, take some pics and be back down before the rain and lightning made it dangerous. The views were outrageous

P1100690

 

P1100691

 

P1100693

 

P1100694

The southern fork of the Kaweah river headed into the valley

P1100695

I stopped half way up, it was raining, hard, and I could hear the nearby electricity crackling. Here is a view of a neighboring downpour

P1100696

It was everywhere

P1100697

But I made it down safely, if wet. Next up, either a brief post on a stupefying sunset or the Gem of the Sierra’s. Any preferences?

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s