A team from the “National Geographic” took a picture of a tree known to locals in the Sierra Nevadas of California as “the President.” Located in the Sequoia National Park, the President is the third largest tree in the world. It is 247 feet tall, has a diameter of 27 feet and has a volume of 45,000 cubic feet.
Nobody had ever photographed the tree in its entirety until the “National Geographic” photographers accomplished the feat. It took them 32 days to take 126 pictures of the tree that they then used to make a single composite photograph.
The team used levers and pulleys to scale the tree so they could get the needed angles and perspectives.
In addition to being huge, the President is also ancient: It is 3200 years old, which makes it the world’s oldest living giant sequoia. Amazingly, it is still growing. In fact, it is one of the fastest-growing trees in the world; its volume increases by a cubic meter every year. It also boasts two billion leaves.
Giant sequoias (Sequoiadendron giganteum) and their relatives, the coastal redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens), are the largest and tallest trees in the world. A redwood called the Hyperion Tree is the world’s tallest tree and stands 379.1 feet tall.
Giant sequoias are also famous for their longevity. Only two other tree species, the Alerce trees and the bristlecone pines, have longer life spans. The oldest living bristlecone pine is nearly 5,000 years old.
Giant sequoias owe their longevity to their extreme hardiness. Their bark, which can be a yard thick, is resistant to fire. The trees can also withstand wood-boring beetles and fungal rot. Forest fires actually help giant sequoias by releasing their seeds from their tough cones.