The sequoia trees are the oldest living
things in the world. You can find them only in the north of California. They
are huge. Some are over 250 feet high. Many sequoias are over 3,000 years old.
They are living giants.
The name sequoia comes from Sequoyah,
an American Indian. Sequoyah developed an alphabet for his people, so they
could read and write.
The bark, or outside part of the
sequoia, has a special tannin or juice. This protects the tree from fire and
insects. So sequoias never die from fire or disease.
The biggest sequoia is the General
Sherman tree. This tree is 100 feet around its base, or bottom. It is 267 feet
tall. This means it is about the same size as a building with twenty-six
floors. It is also the oldest tree in the world. The General Sherman tree is
4,000 years old!
When people needed wood, they began to
cut down the sequoias. John Muir was a famous naturalist. He studied plants and
animals. Muir wanted to save the sequoias. He asked President Theodore
Roosevelt to come and see the sequoias in California. The president came, and
in 1903 he made the land where they grew into a national park--Sequoia National