This is “The President,” supposedly the world’s largest tree (probably not the third largest, as indicated below) if you’re considering volume. It’s a giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) in California, and these massive trees are one of the most amazing sights I’ve seen: certainly the most impressive single organism I’ve encountered in my life. When you first see one of these giants, you simply cannot believe that a tree can be this large.
To show how big they are, My Modern Met shows a photo made from many individual photos:
For the December 2012 issue of National Geographic, photographer Michael “Nick” Nichols journeyed to the Sequoia National Park in California in order to capture this image of the President, a giant sequoia that is the third largest tree in the world, if measured by volume of the trunk above ground.
Using a rig system made up of ropes, Nichols and his team raised a camera so that they could take shots of every part of the 247-ft-tall, 27-ft-wide giant. It took Nichols 32 days of work to photograph the tree and stitch together the final image from 126 individual photos, creating the first picture of the President captured entirely in a single frame. The result is a stunning image that shows the majestic tree in all its glory, towering high above the snowy ground and tiny people.
Look at this baby!
Their range is very limited, so it’s a special experience to see one. Here’s the range map from Wikipedia:
Here’s a National Geographic video about that tree:
One of the wonderful things about California is that it has the world’s oldest trees (the bristlecone pines), the world’s tallest trees (the giant redwoods), and the world’s most massive trees (see above). Two of these—the bristlecones and giant sequoias—are within a day’s drive of each other, and the giant redwoods only another day’s drive away. Throw in Death Valley, one of my favorite spots on earth, and you have four biological/geographical wonders easily accessible in a few days’ drive.
Take Professor Ceiling Cat’s word: go see these big and old trees if you get to California.