Mother of the Forest
||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (November 2012)|
The Mother of the Forest (667 BCE – 1854 CE) was an ancient and huge Sequoiadendron tree. The tree lived in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in eastern central California, United States. The dead tree's remains are within the Calaveras Grove of Big Trees State Park, in Calaveras County, California.
The tree stretched 321 feet (98 m) into the air with a girth of 90 feet (27 m) at ground level, and was the largest of 92 giant sequoias growing in the valley in 1852 when a man named George Gale discovered the massive tree. In 1854 he had the bark stripped from the trunk. Gale named the massive tree the "Mother of the Forest" before he sent men to strip the tree of its bark. Once the bark was removed, the tree did not survive for long. In 1908, a fire that swept through the area burned away much of what was left of the tree.
The massive tree had thick bark, 2 feet (0.61 m) thick in some spots, which Gale had stripped. Gale toured with the bark, showing it off to crowds.
To this day, what is left of Mother of the Forest stands as a large fire-blackened snag along the loop trail through the North Grove, at the far end of the loop. Saw marks made when the bark was cut away are still visible on the trunk, which stands over 100 feet tall. Gale sent samples of the tree to foresters in the east where it was discovered to be 2,520 years old.
- Specific citations
- General references
- Hutchings, J.M., 1886. In the Heart of the Sierras: page 223.
- Palmquist, Peter E., and Thomas R. Kailbourn. Pioneer Photographers of the Far West: A Biographical Dictionary, 1840–1865. Stanford, Calif: Stanford University Press, 2000.