August 26, 2012

0314 UNITED STATES (California) - The largest living tree on Earth

I first learned of the existence of giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) at the age of 10-11 years, from a book about the botanical and zoological extremes, and the sizes and the ages of these trees impressed me so much, that they have never going out of my mind. After a few years I discovered that there is a specimen in the courtyard of a museum in Ploiesti, the city where I live. I don't think to has more than 100 years (maybe 150), because not exceed 15m in height, and can be seen with the naked eye that the climate here isn't favourable to it.

Giant sequoia is one of three species of coniferous trees known as redwoods, which occurs naturally only in groves on the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. It's the world's largest tree by volume, and grows to an average height of 50-85m and 6-8m in diameter. The oldest known giant sequoia based on ring count is 3,500 years old. There is 68 groves of sequoia, all in western Sierra Nevada. Some of them are in Yosemite National Park, and others in Sequoia National Park, to south of and contiguous with Kings Canyon National Park.

In image is General Sherman Tree, the largest (by volume) living single-stem tree on Earth, located in the Giant Forest of Sequoia National Park. It has a height of 83.8 metres, a diameter of 7.7 metres, an estimated bole volume of 1,487 cubic metres, and an estimated age of 2,300-2,700 years. Nevertheless, it isn't  neither the tallest, nor the widest, nor the oldest known living tree on Earth. It was named after William Tecumseh Sherman, an American Civil War general, by naturalist James Wolverton, who had served as a lieutenant in the 9th Indiana Cavalry under Sherman.

About the stamps

The U.S. Postal Service had celebrated this year, on January 19, the spirit of Aloha,  the Hawaiian word used as a blessing or greeting, with five stamps, each depicting a different shirt. For a long time, this specific shirts (which have a straight lower hem and are worn hanging loosely over the trousers) are considered acceptable business attire in zones where the climate can make a suit and tie uncomfortable. The five stamps, designed by Carl Herrman using photos by Ric Noyle, shows decorative images of Hawaiian life:

• surfers and their boards (with red background) - it's on other postcard, here
• surfers and their boards (with black background) - it's on this postcard
• fossil fish, shells, and sea stars - it's on the postcard - it's on other postcard, here
• tropical flower known as the bird of paradise - it's on this postcard, but also here
• Kilauea, a volcano on the Big Island of Hawai‘i - it's on this postcard

This is a post for Sunday Stamps #85, run by Viridian from Viridian’s Postcard Blog. The theme of this week is Useful or practical things. Click on the button to visit Viridian’s blog and all the other participants.

General Sherman (tree) - Wikipedia
Estimated Ages of Some Large Giant Sequoias: General Sherman Keeps Getting Younger - Sierra Nature Notes
Aloha Shirts stamps - Beyond the perf

sender: Mikaila Michel (direct swap)
sent from Parlier (California / United States), on 25.06.2012
photo: William G. Hartshorn


  1. My grandson who is a surfer would love one of the surfing shirts. Very colourful.

  2. I don't know which I like better, the postcard or the stamps. Both are superb!

  3. It a warm and humid climate climate these shirts are very practical. Plus, colorful!
    PS> thank you for the two art postcards, which arrived on Friday. And the great Romanian stamps, of course.
    Thank you for participating!

  4. What says Hawaii more than those shirts, great subject for stamps. Not sure what is the most amazing, the age or size of the sequoia tree.