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General Sherman is the name of a Giant Sequoia. It is the tallest Giant Sequoia tree in the world with a height of about 275 feet (84.8 metres). As of 2002, the volume of its trunk measured about 1487 cubic meters, making it the largest non-clonal organism by volume. The tree is located in the Giant Forest of Sequoia National Park in the United States, east of Visalia, California. The tree is believed to be between 2,300 and 2,700 years old.

It was named after General William Tecumseh Sherman, American Civil War leader, by naturalist James Wolverton in 1879 (Other names for this tree included "Karl Marx" and "Pin Cushion Tree"). Wolverton had served as a Lieutenant in the 9th Indiana Cavalry under Sherman. The tree was identified as the largest in a 1931 dispute with the nearby General Grant tree, after which wood volume was the widely accepted determining factor.

In January 2006 the largest branch on the tree, seen most commonly in older photos as an "L" or "golf club" shape protruding from about 1/4th down the trunk, broke off. No one was present for the incident, but the branch, which had a diameter of over 2 m (6 feet) and a length of over 30 m (100 feet), bigger than most trees, smashed part of the enclosing fence and cratered the walkway pavement surrounding the sequoia. This is not believed to be indicative of any abnormalities with General Sherman's health, and may even be a natural defense mechanism against adverse weather conditions. The branch loss did not change the General Sherman's status as the largest tree as its size has been calculated using measurements of trunk volume, excluding branches.

Measuring over 115 meters, the Hyperion in Redwood National Park is currently the world's tallest tree. Also, whereas the General Sherman tree is the largest Giant Sequoia (its common name), Lost Monarch is the largest known Sequoia (a genus name). Sequoia is the Coastal redwood genus name, and Sequoiadendron is the Giant Sequoia genus name.

September 2008

The bigest tree on earth in Sequoia National Park

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