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19. Sequoias

    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 Park.



1. Where do the sequoia trees grow?
a. In the north of California
b. In the south of California
c. In the center of California

2. Where did the name of the tree come from?
a. From the inventor of electricity
b. From the Indian leader
c. From the inventor of the alphabet

3. How do the trees protect themselves from insects?
a. With their poison
b. With their bark juice
c. With their strong trunk

4. What size has the biggest tree in the world?
a. the same size as a building with twenty-six floors
b. the same size as a building with twenty-seven floors
c. the same size as a building with twenty-eight floors

5. Who was a famous protector of the sequoia trees?
a. Theodore Roosevelt
b. John Muir
c. Sequoyah

6. In what way did the President help the trees?
a. He made a new law.
b. He got rid of insects.
c. He opened a national park.

7. What is the synonym for the word ‘bark’ (paragraph 3)?
a. Branch
b. Steam
c. Stalk
d. Rind

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