The Fallen Monarch

This was taken in The Mariposa Grove, home to the, Sequoiadendron giganteum. The oldest Giant Sequoia may exceed 3,000 years and top out at a height of around 290ft. It is truly difficult to capture the majesty of these beautiful trees!

Into the grove on the main trail is the Fallen Monarch. Perhaps you’ve seen this tree before—in the famous 1899 photograph of U. S Cavalry officers on their horses up on top!

Tannic acid in the wood suppresses the initial growth of fungi and bacteria, essentially arresting decay. Only when rain and melting snow have leached the tannin from the wood can decay begin. Biologists suspect that this tree had been down several hundred years before the Cavalry photograph was taken!

Notice the roots of this tree. Sequoia’s don’t have deep tap roots; instead, the roots spread out near the surface to capture water. While the roots are usually no deeper than six feet (2 meters), they fan out more than 150 feet (45 meters), providing a stable base to balance the massive trunk.

One response

  1. CRAZY! What a GREAT blog post today on a stunning subject Erik! Wow, my friend, I found the hair on the back of my neck standing straight up when I read the back-story to this tree you posted. It’s nature just amazing. What a FABULOUS shot of this tree, Erik, seriously…

    May 27, 2011 at 11:18 am

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