The Giant Sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) is an evergreen coniferous tree that has the distinction of being the largest in the world. The tree was originally named “Wellingtonia” after the British general and Duke of Wellington who defeated Napoleon at battle of Waterloo by the English botanist John Lindley. Of course having an American species named after an English general didn’t sit well with many Americans. Many of whom wanted to name the tree after the American general and president George Washington calling the tree “Washingtonia”. Amidst all the disagreement between the two countries it was a Frenchman by the name of Joseph Decainse who provided an alternative. He suggested the name “Sequoia” be chosen as the name for the tree. It was a name originally given by the Austrian botanist Stephen Endlicher. It was believed that Endlicher named the tree after the famous Cherokee Indian Sequoyah. Sequoyah is credited in developing a writing system (syllabary) to make reading and writing in Cherokee practicable. However there is no actual evidence to bolster this belief as Endlicher had no documentation of the name’s origin.
Giant sequoias grow naturally in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California between 5,000 and 7,000 feet above sea level inland. The elevation provided by the mountainous terrain offers the dry air they need to thrive and the snowpack from the Sierra supplies the trees with plenty of water. Giant sequoias can grow to majestic heights averaging between (164 to 279 ft) and average in diameter (20 to 26 ft). The biggest known specimen of the Giant sequoia is the “General Sherman”. Located in the Sequoia National Park, Sherman stands at an astounding (275 feet), has a circumference of (102 ft) and weighs in at a staggering 2.7 million pounds. Sequoias can live up to 3,000 years but Sherman has been calculated to be only about 2,000 years old. Among the locations that preserve the Giant sequoias are the Sequoia National Forest, Sequoia National Park and the Giant Sequoia National monument.
Part of your stay at our camp is the opportunity to see these majestic trees in their entire splendor and in their natural habitat. Hiking amongst these giants will be an experience you won’t soon forget.