General Sherman (tree)
The General Sherman is a giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) tree located in the Giant Forest of Sequoia National Park in Tulare County, California. By volume, it is the largest known living single stem tree on Earth. The General Sherman Tree is neither the tallest known living tree on Earth (that distinction belongs to the Hyperion tree, a Coast redwood), nor is it the widest (both the largest cypress and largest baobab have a greater diameter), nor is it the oldest known living tree on Earth (that distinction belongs to the Methuselah tree, a Great Basin bristlecone pine). With a height of 83.8 metres (275 ft), a diameter of 7.7 metres (25 ft), an estimated bole volume of 1,487 cubic metres (52,513 cu ft), and an estimated age of 2,300–2,700 years, it is among the tallest, widest and longest-lived of all trees on the planet.
In 1879 this tree was named after American Civil War general, William Tecumseh Sherman, by naturalist James Wolverton, who had served as a lieutenant in the 9th Indiana Cavalry under Sherman. In 1931, following comparisons with the nearby General Grant tree, General Sherman was identified as the largest tree in the world. One result of this process was that wood volume became widely accepted as the standard for establishing and comparing the size of different trees.
In January 2006 the largest branch on the tree (seen most commonly, in older photos, as an "L" or golf-club shape, protruding from about a quarter of the way down the trunk) broke off. There were no witnesses to the incident, and the branch—with a bigger circumference than the trunks of most trees, a diameter of over 2 metres (7 ft) and a length of over 30 metres (98 ft)—smashed part of its enclosing fence and cratered the pavement of the walkway surrounding the sequoia. The breakage, however, is not believed to be indicative of any abnormalities in the tree's health, and may even be a natural defense mechanism against adverse weather conditions. The branch loss did not change the General Sherman's status as the largest tree, as its size has been calculated using measurements of trunk volume, excluding branches.
|Height above base||274.9 ft||83.8 m|
|Circumference at ground||102.6 ft||31.3 m|
|Maximum diameter at base||36.5 ft||11.1 m|
|Diameter 4.5 ft (1.4 m) above height point on ground||25.1 ft||7.7 m|
|Diameter 60 ft (18 m) above base||17.5 ft||5.3 m|
|Diameter 180 ft (55 m) above base||14.0 ft||4.3 m|
|Diameter of largest branch||6.8 ft||2.1 m|
|Height of first large branch above the base||130.0 ft||39.6 m|
|Average crown spread||106.5 ft||32.5 m|
|Estimated bole volume||52,508 cu ft||1,487 m3|
|Estimated mass (wet)||2,105 short tons||1,910 t|
|Estimated bole mass||2,472,000 lb||1,121 t|
See also 
- List of largest giant sequoias
- List of superlative trees
- List of trees
- Lost Monarch
- National Register of Big Trees
- "The General Sherman Tree". Sequoia National Park. U.S. National Park Service. 1997–03–27. Retrieved 2011-08-12.
- Earle, CJ (2011). "Sequoia sempervirens". The Gymnosperm Database. Retrieved 2011-08-12.
- Earle, CJ (2011). "Pinus longaeva". The Gymnosperm Database. Retrieved 2011-08-13.
- Stephenson, N.L. (January 2002). "Estimated Ages of Some Large Giant Sequoias: General Sherman Keeps Getting Younger". Nature Notes (Yosemite Association) 2.
- Martin, Glen. "World's tallest trees". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved January 2009.
- Records, Guinness World (2007-08-07). Guinness World Record 2008, World's Tallest Tree. ISBN 978-1-904994-19-0. Retrieved January 2009.
- "NPS.gov records world's largest tree by volume". Retrieved January 2009.
- van Pelt, Robert. "The Trees". Forest Giants.
- Tweed, William (2006-02-07). "Sequoias designed to last a couple of thousand years". Visalia Times Delta.
- Flint, Wendell D. (1987). To Find the Biggest Tree. Sequoia National History Association. p. 94.
- Fry, Walter; White, John Roberts (1942). Big Trees. Palo Alto, California: Stanford University Press.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: General Sherman Tree|
- More images and info about General Sherman
- What is the largest tree in the world? Video of a park ranger at the National Sequoia Park explain details about the General Sherman Tree