Arbor Day Foundation Excerpts

The following three paragraphs are excerpts from The National Arbor Day Foundation’s Library of Trees, (Giant Sequoia) of 2004.

When Meriwether Lewis stood before the great falls of the Missouri, he lamented in his journal that words failed him in describing the magnificent scene. So it is when we view the vastness of the Grand Canyon or the power of Niagara Falls. When it comes to trees, that sense of humbling awe strikes most mortals as they gaze upon the most massive trees on earth, the giant sequoias.

Dendrologist Rutherford Platt has made a good attempt at putting this species into perspective. He wrote that the lowest branch of one of these giants is 150 feet above the ground, higher than most other trees, and that branch is six feet in diameter and 150 feet long, the branch itself being bigger than the biggest elm tree in the world.

The giant sequoia is the sole tree within its genus, Sequoiadendron. Surprisingly it is not only one of the marvels of our nation’s forests, it also makes a wonderful tree for parks and home settings. Planting a sequoia is surely what J. Sterling Morton, the founder of Arbor Day, had in mind when he said planting trees proposes for the future.