Our National Parks’ Famous Trees

national park famous trees

From purple mountain majesty to fruited plains, the United States has natural wonders of which many can only dream. America’s national parks harbor some of the world’s most incredible natural finds, like jagged mountain peaks, powerful geysers and the world’s oldest trees. While visiting a national park just to look at a tree may seem superfluous, some of these ancient plants are awe-inspiring enough to justify the trip.

General Sherman

Tucked away in the gorgeous Sequoia National Park of Northern California is a giant. The General Sherman sequoia is the world’s largest currently living tree by wood volume, standing at a staggering 275 feet with a base diameter of 36 feet. This national treasure is accessible via two trails, along which are placards explaining the incredible history of sequoia trees. This particular sequoia is called General Sherman after the Civil War General William Tecumseh Sherman who led an infamous military campaign through Georgia, often called “Sherman’s March to the Sea.” In January of 2006, the General Sherman tree suffered through heavy snowfall, breaking off its largest branch. This branch fell to the ground, crushing the perimeter fence and putting a sizeable crater in the surrounding pavement. Luckily, no one was around at the time and experts claim the tree is in perfect health.

Tunnel Tree

Also in California’s vast network of national park land, the world-famous Tunnel Tree has thrilled tourists for more than 100 years. Though the tree is actually named the Wawona tree, the term “Tunnel Tree” stuck due to its design. This giant sequoia stood in Yosemite National Park as a tourist attraction that allowed visitors to drive through the tree via a manmade tunnel carved at its base. Originally carved in 1881, the 2,300-year-old Tunnel Tree remained a beloved attraction until 1969 when a heavy load of snow toppled it. The now-fallen Tunnel Tree remains in its same spot, providing new ecological growth for the rest of the forest ecosystem. Although the tree is now fallen, it still is a major tourist attraction for Yosemite National Park.


This is one tree you’ll have to see to believe. Good luck finding it, though! As the world’s tallest tree, one would assume the Hyperion would be easy to spot. However, with so many giants in the Humboldt Redwoods State Park of California, it can be difficult to nail down the exact location. First discovered by two hikers, this tree stands tall at 379 feet – 10 feet taller than the aptly named Stratosphere Giant in the same park. Hyperion, unfortunately, is being closely protected by researchers. Because it is such a new discovery, scientists would like to keep it from becoming a tourist attraction. If ever you’re hiking through the Humboldt Redwoods State Park, though, keep an eye out for the Hyperion, and, as always, leave nature as you found it.

Care for Nature’s Giants with Gunnison Tree Specialists

Whether your native trees are large or small, everyone can appreciate the beauty of nature, especially when it’s in your own backyard. Let Gunnison Tree Specialists care for the trees around your home with our pruning, stump removal and disease management services. To receive your free quote, contact us online or call 404-386-3333.


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