We had not originally planned to go to Sequoia National Park. The first plan was to visit Yosemite, but due to the awful fires, we came up with a plan B. We still wanted to see some uniquely American landscapes. I figured that seeing that largest (single-stem) tree on earth (by wood-volume) fit the bill.
Did you know that there are a lot of ways to measure the size of trees? I never needed to know before, but I learned when we went to the preserve! Sequoias are not the tallest – Redwoods are. But Redwoods are thinner, so they are not the largest. A Montezuma cypress in Mexico has the widest trunk, but it’s not extraordinarily tall, so while it is the stoutest, it is not the largest. General Sherman (the tree, not the man), though not the stoutest or the tallest, is stout enough and tall enough to contain the most wood by volume. And therefore, it is the largest tree.
Just be warned, you have to go pretty far up into the mountains to see the trees – so be prepared for steep winding roads. We had some additional delays when leaving due to construction. And the path to see General Sherman is easy to go down, but not so easy to get back up. Thankfully, they have many strategically placed benches. For those who can’t do the path, there are accessible options available.
Related, I’m just very pleased that there is a Wikipedia article called “List of superlative trees”.