Biggest Tree in the World: 5 Stunning General Sherman Facts

Biggest Tree in the World: General Sherman Tree framed in an oval frame, image taken from the ground looking up into one of the tallest trees in the world.

The biggest trees on Earth are dwarfed by General Sherman, a massive Sequoia tree located in the United States and ranked the biggest tree in the world.

Measured by volume, General Sherman has outgrown them all.

It has gained this title against some very big competitors, but there may be some facts you might not know about this giant tree. The following stunning General Sherman facts might surprise you.1

We’ve also added 30 more of the biggest tree in the world runnerup’s in size, just for comparison.

Related Reading: How Many Trees Are in the World?

The Biggest Tree in the World: General Sherman (5 Stunning General Sherman Facts)

Even though General Sherman is now the biggest tree in the world, historically, there have been two other giant sequoia trees at the time by volume that have been bigger,5 but both of them met an untimely end, one in 1905 and the other in the mid-1940s.

The first was measured as actually being twice as big (volumetric) as the General.

It was a California redwood called the Lindsey Creek Tree in Fieldbrook, and its metric volume was measured at 90,000 cubic feet and weighed nearly 3,700 tons.

What brought it down was a ferocious storm in 1905 that battered it with 120 mph winds that finally toppled it to the ground. The Crannell Creek Giant, though not as gargantuan, was still estimated to be between 15-25% bigger than General Sherman.

It met its end in the 1940s when it was subjected to loggers who cut it down. If these two redwood trees (Sequoia sempervirens) were alive today they would surely receive even more visitors than those tourists visiting the General Sherman tree in the Giant Forest.

Yet here are 5 facts about what makes the General Sherman tree unique:

  1. The bark on the trunk in some places is 2 feet thick.
  2. The seeds can remain locked away from daylight in the cones for 20 years.
  3. General Sherman’s sap contains tannic acid that protects against parasites and fungal rot.
  4. A fur trapper in 1879, James Wolverton, gave this ancient tree its name after serving under General William Tecumseh Sherman in the American Civil War.
  5. The General Sherman tree is just 13 feet shorter than the Capitol Building.

General Sherman Tree (More Statistics About General Sherman Tree: The Biggest Tree in the World)

The General Sherman tree is a giant sequoia tree (Sequoiadendron giganteum) located in California’s Sequoia National Park in a large sequoia grove section appropriately called Giant Forest. It has been dated as being between 2,200 and 2,700 years old.9

An impressive number, but that amazingly doesn’t make it one of the oldest trees in the world. That accolade belongs to another.

Now, what makes General Sherman the biggest tree in the world is not that it is the tallest tree on the planet or the widest, but that it is both.

By sheer volume, it snatches the title, standing at 275 feet tall at its apex with a girth at the base of over 36 feet.

That diameter narrows to about 17.5 feet the higher the trunk ascends but even at 60 feet, the trunk is wider than most other trees.

The branches, some with a circumference of nearly 7 feet, start to spread out from 130 feet from the ground and this, undoubtedly, has aided in its longevity.

Tourist flock from all around the globe to marvel at the General Sherman tree in winter and summer, leaving with photos as proof that they have seen the biggest tree in the world.

The Oldest Tree in the World: Methuselah Tree

Growing not too far from General Sherman in the Inyo National Forest in the Sierra Nevadas grows the oldest tree in the world.

Named after the oldest man in the Bible, the Methuselah Tree is recorded to be nearly 5,000 years old.

It is a bristlecone pine tree from the Pinaceae family of trees, the Pinus longaev, and is classed as the oldest living organism on earth.2

It has managed to reach this monumental age because Bristlecone pine has a very dense wood that makes it incredibly resistant to insects, pests, and fungi, and it is accustomed to thriving in extremely harsh conditions.

Long may it continue to grow old gracefully.

The Oldest Tree in Asia: Cypress of Abarqu (Sarv-E Abarkuh)

Situated in the Yazd Province in Iran, the Cypress of Abarqu (Cupressus sempervirens) is a revered natural monument that is estimated to be between 4,000- 5,000 years old.10

It has a height of 82 feet and a width of nearly 38 feet at its base and is a major tourist attraction.

Although not as ancient as Methuselah, it is nevertheless an impressive specimen and deserves the protection from the Cultural Heritage Organization of Iran who are proud to have in their country a tree that has been around for millennia.

The Stoutest Trunk in the World: Árbol Del Tule

The Árbol Del Tule doesn’t hold the title of the biggest tree in the world, but it does have the record for the stoutest tree trunk at 46.1 feet wide.

It’s a Montezuma Cypress tree (Taxodium mucronatum) seen in Santa Maria del Tule, a tiny town in Mexico where the villagers are keen to show off their centerpiece that, at 116 feet tall, isn’t a towering giant.

But what it lacks in height is definitely made up for in a world record-holding width. A different world record is held on the other side of the planet in a remote area of Bangalore, India.

The World’s Largest Canopy: Thimmamma Marrimanu

Thimmamma Marrimanu is a banyan tree whose canopy has spread over an incredible 5 acres – and it is still growing.3

What prevents this 550-year-old tree from falling over under the increasing size and weight of the canopy are the roots, or more accurately the ‘prop roots’.

Wide shot of Sequoia tree with its roots popping to help it stay rooted.

As a survival mechanism, the tree instinctively realizes when extra support is needed and provides that stability from the branches above that descend and grow above ground.

Being a living organism, Thimmamma Marrimanu’s canopy is still growing and, because the banyan tree is the national tree of India, it is well tended to and will probably be around for another 1,000 years.

Some of the Biggest Jungles in the World

Climate change is a global problem and jungles play a major role in combatting greenhouse gas and carbon dioxide emissions.

The bigger the jungle, the bigger the carbon sequestration, and the better the fight against climate erosion.Bar graph showing the area of the biggest jungles in the world.

Hundreds of jungles across the planet face the threat of deforestation on a regular basis but are trying to fight back by outgrowing the problem.

Below are some of the biggest jungles in the world.

The AmazonSouth America2.3 million square miles
The Congo RainforestCentral Africa1.68 million square miles
Bosawas Biosphere ReserveNicaragua7,722 square miles
Daintree RainforestAustralia460 square miles
Southeast Asian RainforestIndia to Malaysia1,112 square miles
Tongass National ForestAlaska11,000 miles
Kinabalu National ParkMalaysia291 square miles
Monteverde Cloud Forest ReserveCosta Rica55 square miles
Sinharaja Forest ReserveSri Lanka34.22 square miles

There are hundreds of jungles in the world, hosting millions of trees with an incredible variety of species that have lived for generations. These jungles are classed as the lungs of the earth as without them the air that we take for granted may not be as clean and easy to breathe as we need for our own survival.

The World’s Oldest Clonal Trees: Pando

If you thought cloning was impossible, think again. In Fishlake National Forest, Utah lies the world’s oldest living organism which has been cloning itself for 80,000 years, yet the oldest tree in this forest is only 130 years old.

The trees, quaking aspens (Populus tremuloides),4 cover an area of 108 acres and are classed as clonal trees because each and every one of them is connected to the exact same system of roots that connects each tree to the same water and nutrient source.

When one tree dies, another grows in its place from stems sprouted from the intricate root system, and a process called suckering takes place where the genetically identical tree is formed. This tree will not only be a replica of the recently departed one but to everyone before it, and to every other tree in the forest.

Because of this incredible feature, Pando is classed as one interconnected organism that scientists have dated as being 14,000 years old, while others estimate that its true existence is closer to 80,000 years.

Two white flowers with two big trunks of Sequoia trees.

This phenomenon of being one single structure reveals that Pando can be classed as the biggest tree in the world even though it is a colony comprised of thousands of smaller trees, rather than one giant behemoth. There are other clonal forests in the world in Iceland, the United Kingdom, Tasmania, Denmark, Sweden, and Finland, but Pando is the largest, and the oldest.

Starting from a mere seed centuries ago, its existence, unfortunately, may well be under threat from overgrazing by cattle and deer that are damaging the delicate ecosystem. Over the last 20 years, they have been consuming thousands of new stems before they can mature, and faster than they can regrow.

Some intervention needs to occur before all the new stems are eradicated and the older trees die off without a new clone to replace them.

Top Thirty Largest Sequoias by Volume After General Sherman

It has been clearly established that the title of the biggest tree in the world rests on the crown of General Sherman at 52,508 cubic feet.

Incredibly, it isn’t just a titan among tiny saplings, but a giant among giants.

Wide angle shot of massive Sequoia trunk.

(Image: National Park Service15)

Here are 30 other sequoia trees that are equally as magnificent and, even though they may not be number one, still outperform millions of other trees in the world.

Sequoia TreeVolumeLocation
1. General Grant (Image: James Lee12)46,608 cubic feetFresno County, California
2. President (Image: Aesthetic Tree and Hedge13)45,148 cubic feetSierra Nevada, California

General Grant


Sequoia TreeVolumeLocation
3. Lincoln (Image: National Park Service10)44,471 cubic feetSierra Nevada, California
4. Stagg (Image: Inkflo16)42,557 cubic feetSierra Nevada, California



Sequoia TreeVolumeLocation
5. Boole (Image: Hans16)42,472 cubic feetFresno County, California
6. Genesis (Image: Hans16)41,897 cubic feetSierra Nevada, California



Sequoia TreeVolumeLocation
7. Franklin (Image: Nikolay Maslov17)41,280 cubic feetSierra Nevada, California
8. King Arthur (Image: Joe Dudeck17)40,656 cubic feetSierra Nevada, California


King Arthur

Sequoia TreeVolumeLocation
9. Monroe (Image: Stephen Leonardi17)40,104 cubic feetSierra Nevada, California
10. Robert E. Lee (Image: Santiagool16)40,102 cubic feetFresno County, California


Robert E. Lee

Sequoia TreeVolumeLocation
11. Floyd Otter (Image: Peca_16)39,562 cubic feetSierra Nevada, California
12. John Adams (Image: Anagha Varrier17)38,956 cubic feetSierra Nevada, California

Floyd Otter

John Adams

Sequoia TreeVolumeLocation
13. Ishi Giant (Image: Nina Luong17)38,156 cubic feetSierra Nevada, California
14. Column (Image: Laraethronton16)37,295 cubic feetSierra Nevada, California

Ishi Giant


Sequoia TreeVolumeLocation
15. Summit Road (Image: Abhardphoto16)36,600 cubic feetSierra Nevada, California
16. Euclid (Image: Asatira16)36,122 cubic feetSierra Nevada, California

Summit Road


Sequoia TreeVolumeLocation
17. Washington (Image: Doreen_kinistino16)35,901 cubic feetWawona, California
18. Pershing (Image: LoggaWiggler16)35,855 cubic feetSierra Nevada, California



Sequoia TreeVolumeLocation
19. Diamond35,292 cubic feetSierra Nevada, California
20. Adam (Image: RODNAE Productions18)35,017 cubic feetSierra Nevada, California



Sequoia TreeVolumeLocation
21. Roosevelt (Image: RODNAE Productions18)35,013 cubic feetSierra Nevada, California
22. Nelder (Image: Pacific University Oregon12)34,993 cubic feetMadera County, California



Sequoia TreeVolumeLocation
23. Above Diamond (Image: RODNAE Productions18)34,706 cubic feetSierra Nevada, California
24. Hart (Image: RODNAE Productions18)34,407 cubic feetSierra Nevada, California

Above Diamond


Sequoia TreeVolumeLocation
25. Grizzly Giant34,005 cubic feetWawona, California
26. Chief Sequoyah (Image: RODNAE Productions18)33,608 cubic feetSierra Nevada, California

Grizzly Giant

Chief Sequoyah

Sequoia TreeVolumeLocation
27. Methuselah (Image: RODNAE Productions18)32,897 cubic feetSierra Nevada, California
28. Great Goshawk (Image: Vasilis Karkalas18)32,783 cubic feetSierra Nevada, California


Great Goshawk

Sequoia TreeVolumeLocation
29. Hamilton (Image: Maria Orlova18)32,783 cubic feetSierra Nevada, California
30. Dean (Image: Ricardo Esquivel18)32,333 cubic feetSierra Nevada, California



Iconic Sequoia Trees Protected From Fire (Biggest Tree in the World)

For nearly 5 months in 2020, from August to December, firefighters battled to save the giant redwood sequoia trees in the Sequoia National park in California.6 The flames blazed through 175,000 acres of land and reduced to ash up to 10,000 of these iconic giants by the time the last embers were extinguished.

But bizarrely, these trees depend on moderate wildfires to flare up occasionally to aid in the release of the seeds for further propagation. With the ever-expanding climate crisis, however, these fires have raged to uncontrollable levels, and every year the fire season is more dreaded than ever.

Rather than continually being caught off-guard by the rising severity and intensity of the wildfires, firefighters are taking and installing preventative measures to ensure that another catastrophe doesn’t descend on them for months.

In an effort to protect some of the biggest trees in the world, they have installed sprinklers around the bases of hundreds of them, created burn lines to divert flames, and even taken to wrapping the most endangered trees with a heat-resistant foil around the trunk.

The Tallest Tree in the World: The Hyperion (Tallest Trees in the World)

It is incredible to consider that the tallest tree in the world rivals the Statue of Liberty in height.

If placed side by side, the Hyperion at 387.7 feet would loom over 80 feet above the famous statue.

Low angle shot of Sequoia Tree with its massive trunk and foliage.

There were other trees that dwarfed even Hyperion before they were cut down in the 70s. Hyperion only escaped because the valley where it grew became part of the Redwood National Park by decree of the Carter Administration.

The tallest tree in Asia, the Menara, and the World’s tallest Eucalyptus, the Centurion are impressive in their own right, standing at 331 feet and 326.8 feet.

The biggest trees in the world are not only found in the United States. Quite a few of these tall boys are bidding for the world record in other parts of the planet.

  • Doerner Fir at 327 feet in Oregon
  • Raven’s Tower at 317 feet in California
  • Yellow Meranti at 309 feet in Borneo
  • White Knight at 301 feet in Tasmania
  • Neeminah Loggorale Meena at 298 feet in Tasmania
  • Dinizia Excelsa at 289 feet in Brazil
  • Alpine Ash at 288 feet in Florentine Valley, Australia
  • King Stringy at 282 feet in Tasmania
  • Pontiankak Putih Cantik at 275 feet in Borneo
  • Entandrophragma Excelsum at 265 feet in Tanzania

Researchers have estimated that due partially to the result of climate forces,7 the tallest a tree will ever be able to get will be between 400-425 feet. This is based on a tree’s instinct to grow taller than its neighbor to capture the maximum amount of sunlight possible, sort of like an inbuilt survival-of-the-fittest mechanism.

Conversely, gravity and the ability to supply water and nutrients to the uppermost branches and leaves may well restrict growth beyond that limit. But nature always finds a way – and records are meant to be broken.

Rarest Trees in the World and the Biggest Tree in the World: (5 Stunning General Sherman Facts)

Trees can get on the endangered list and face extinction for several reasons.

Overgrazing, invasive infestations, global warming, and over-harvesting, are just a few of the reasons that can account for a particular tree’s scarcity.

Here are just 8 of the rarest trees in the world that are close to disappearing from the face of the planet:

  1. Saint Helena Gumwood
  2. The African Blackwood
  3. Bois Dentelle
  4. Monkey Puzzle
  5. Dragon Blood Tree
  6. African Baobab Tree
  7. Mongarlowe Mallee8
  8. Three Kings Kaikomako

These trees are some of the rarest in the world and due to this have either become extremely expensive like the African Blackwood or protected like the Three Kings Kaikomako.

The biggest tree in the world, the General Sherman, is endangered in its own way because it is the biggest of its kind and maybe in the next 5,000 years, it will be overtaken by an upstart, but for now, it is still king of the jungle.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Biggest Tree in the World

Which Is the Tallest Tree in the World?

The tallest tree in the world is called the Hyperion in the Redwood National Park in California and is an astounding 380 feet tall.

Which Is the Largest Tree in the World?

The General Sherman tree holds that title by wood volume of 52,508 cubic feet.

How Big Is the Largest Forest in the World?

The Amazon Jungle in South America is the largest forest in the world. It covers an area of 5,500,000 km2 and is home to about 290 trillion trees.

What Do I Need To Know How To Tell How Old a Tree Is?

For those wondering how to tell how old a tree is, counting how many rings are on the trunk is a tried and tested method used by scientists when carbon dating trees.


1National Parks California. (2023). General Sherman Tree. National Parks Service. Retrieved January 19, 2023, from <>

2U.S. Department of Agriculture. (2022). Methuselah, a Bristlecone Pine Is Thought To Be the Oldest Living Organism on Earth. U.S. Department of Agriculture. Retrieved January 19, 2023, from <>

3Andhra Pradesh Tourism. (2023). Thimmamma Marrimanu. Andhra Pradesh Tourism. Retrieved January 19, 2023, from <>

4National Park Services. (2023). Quaking Aspen. National Park Utah. Retrieved January 19, 2023, from <>

5Forest Service U.S. Department of Agriculture. (2023). Giant Sequoia Trees Face “Drying” Times. Forest Service U.S. Department of Agriculture. Retrieved January 19, 2023, from <>

6National Park Service. (2023). Giant Sequoias. National Parks California. Retrieved January 19, 2023, from <>

7University of Wisconsin–Madison. (2014). New Analysis Links Tree Height to Climate. University of Wisconsin–Madison. Retrieved January 19, 2023, from <>

8NSW Department of Planning and Environment. (2022). Australia’s Loneliest Tree Is Also One of the World’s Rarest. NSW Department of Planning and Environment. Retrieved January 19, 2023, from <>

9Wikipedia. (2023, January 9). Sequoia National Park. Wikipedia. Retrieved January 19, 2023, from <>

10NPS. National Park Service. Retrieved from <>

11US Forest Service.Sierra Wave Media. Retrieved from <>

12James Lee. Unsplash. Retrieved from <>

13Aesthetic Tree and Hedge. Aesthetic Tree and Hedge. Retrieved from <>

14Pacific University Oregon. Retrieved from <>

15National Park Service. National Park Service. Retrieved from <>

16Stagg by Inkflo, Boole by Hans, Genesis by Hans, Robert E. Lee Tree by Santiagool, Floyd Otter by Peca_, Column by Laraethronton Summit Road by Abhardphoto, Euclid by Asatira, Washington by Doreen_kinistino, Pershing by LoggaWiggler. Pixabay. Retrieved from <>

17Franklin by Nikolay Maslov, King Arthur by Joe Dudeck, Monroe by Stephen Leanardi, John Adams by Anagha Varrier, Ishi Giant byNina Luong. Unsplash. Retrieved from <>

18Adam, Roosevelt, Above Diamond, Hart, Chief Sequoyah, Methuselah by RODNAE Productions, Great Goshawk by Vasilis Karkalas, Hamilton by Maria Orlova, Dean by Ricardo Esquivel. Pexels. Retrieved from <>