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More of Don's
photo series.

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

The Oregon Tree, Sequoia National Park

Sequoiadendron giganteum grow on the western slopes of the Sierra in California.

In the early days of white settlement in the area, trees were named after the states in the United States. This is the Oregon Tree. Most of the names have been lost; the trees remain. These old giants are still growing and each year each of them adds enough wood to make a normal-size tree.

Fire in Sequoia National Park

Fire is necessary to the survival of the Big Trees. The seeds can only sprout after a fire, and fire is needed to clear the underbrush so the big trees can get sunlight. The bark of the trees is nearly fire-proof; only the hottest blaze can hurt it. And the tree tends to grow around the burnt part, thus surviving almost intact.

Sequoias and Redwoods Compared
Sequoia TreeSEQUOIAS
Sequoiadendron giganteum
Height: to 311 ft.
Age: to 3,200 years
Weight: to 2.7 million lbs.
Bark: to 31 in. thick
Branches: to 8 ft. diameter
Bases: to 40 ft. diameter
Reproduce: by seed only
Seed size: like oat flakes
Cone size: like chicken eggs
Grow in Sierra
Redwood TreeREDWOODS
Sequoia sempervirons
Height: to 367.8 ft.
Age: to 2,000 years
Weight: to 1.6 million lbs.
Bark: to 12 in. thick
Branches: to 5 ft. diameter
Bases: to 22 ft. diameter
Reproduce: by seed or sprout
Seed size: like tomato seeds
Cone size: like a large olive
Grow on northern
 California coast
A third type of redwood, the Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides) is native to China.

Kings Canyon

Kings Canyon. The depth of a canyon can be measured in various ways; measured from the peak of Spanish Mountain to the river below, Kings Canyon is, at 7,000 feet, the deepest canyon in the world.

Kings Canyon National Park is mainly a back country of high mountains and deep canyons, almost entirely inaccessible by car.

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