दुनिया का सबसे ऊँचा पेड़
दुनिया का सबसे ऊँचा जीवित पेड़ है रेडवुड नेशनल पार्क, कैलिफोर्निया में खड़ा कोस्ट रेडवुड जिसकी ऊँचाई है 115.66 मीटर यानी 379 फुट। कुतुब मीनार से भी ऊँचे इस पेड़ की तुलना कुछ और चीजों से करें तो पाएंगे कि यह अमेरिकी संसद भवन और स्टेच्यू ऑफ लिबर्टी से भी ज्यादा ऊँचा है।
और सबसे बड़ा यानी सबसे ज्यादा जगह घेरने वाला पेड़ है जनरल शर्मन। आसानी से समझने के लिए सबसे ज्यादा लकड़ी देने वाला पेड़।
General Sherman, the biggest tree in the world
The tree called "General Sherman" is not only the biggest giant sequoia, but it is also the biggest tree in the world. He is 83.8 m (274.9 feet) tall, his girth at breast height is 24,10 m (79 feet) (near the ground it is 31,3 m or 102,6 feet). The width of the crown is 33 m, and the first branch starts only at 40 m or 130 feet!
How old is this tree?
The image on the left is an attempt to show the entire tree in one image. Notice the people standing at the base of the tree (click on the image for a larger view). General Sherman is the biggest giant redwood, but he is not the one with the largest girth, nor is he the tallest. Also note that the tallest tree on earth is almost half of General Sherman's height taller.
He is often called the largest living thing on earth. Well, there might be some discussion about that.
Most of the tree consists of dead wood. Also the exact definition of a 'living thing' is not very clear. A strawberry plant for example can reproduce itself by shoots, that root themselves. Is a such a field of strawberry plants than one plant or are it multiple ones? In that sense entire woods of trees (like the quaking aspen, Populus tremuloides, for example) or fungi that reproduce for miles and miles beneath the ground can be seen as one living thing.
During a winter storm in 2006 the tree lost a large branch. When it fell, it smashed a part of the enclosing fence and cratered the walkway pavement surrounding the sequoia. The loss of the branch is seen as a natural defense mechanism against adverse weather conditions. Also the branch loss does not change the tree's status as the largest tree, as that honor was bestowed based on measurements of trunk volume, excluding branches.
Above are some typical views of General Sherman and his neighborhood during the touristic summer season.
Tree volume calculation
The General Sherman Tree is not the tallest tree in the world, or the thickest at the base, but get its title "biggest tree in the world" from its total wood volume, or, more precisely, its total trunk volume.
More on the tallest trees on earth can be found below.
The official number mentioned on the info panel near the tree is 52500 cubic feet, or, in decimal units, 1487 m³. Here you can see the calculation of that number using a simple method, based on a number of girth measurements mentioned on the info panel: 31.3 m circumference near the ground, 5.3 m diameter at 60 ft etcetera.