Nearly all of the biggest and oldest redwood trees reside in California, though even more gentle giants are found around the world. Classified as Sequoioideae and members of the cypress tree family, redwoods are awe-inspiring and impressive. But just how old and large do these trees get, and where are some of the oldest and largest trees in the world found?
In this article, we will go over the height and age of some of the oldest redwood trees, including where they are located. That way, you can plan a trip to see some of these gorgeous trees for yourself (hint: you might just be planning a visit to California!). Let’s get started and show off the top five biggest and oldest redwood trees now.
1- General Sherman
Regarded as the largest living redwood tree, General Sherman is a giant sequoia located in the aptly-named Sequoia National Park in California. Nestled in the Giant Forest portion of the park, General Sherman towers 275 feet into the air. Plus, this tree is most likely 2,000-3,000 years old, making it one of the oldest specimens on this list as well! If that wasn’t impressive enough, General Sherman has a diameter of almost 40 feet and a volume of nearly 1,500 cubic meters!
2- Lost Monarch
Located in the Grove of Titans in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, the Lost Monarch is a coastal redwood. These redwood trees grow much taller than giant sequoias but they aren’t typically as old or as heavy. However, Lost Monarch has a few fascinating facts associated with it: it’s 320 feet tall, almost 30 feet in diameter, and nearly 1,000 cubic meters in volume. However, the age of Lost Monarch is currently unknown– there’s no telling what this tree has seen in its lifetime!
3- General Grant
With an estimated age of over 1,600 years, General Grant is a large and impressive specimen. This giant sequoia resides in Kings Canyon National Park and has a height of roughly 260 feet. The volume of this tree is equally impressive, over 1,300 cubic meters, and the circumference is nearly 110 feet. It is located in its very own grove, named after Ulysses S. Grant, and is also the largest living monument in the United States.
Coast redwood trees can get tall, and the Hyperion tree is no exception. Towering over 380 feet in the air, Hyperion is estimated to be young, only 600-800 years old. However, that hasn’t stopped it from growing and thriving in Redwood National Park. While it only has a volume of 530 cubic meters, Hyperion is staggering because of its title of the tallest living tree in the entire world. Keep in mind that recent destruction and damage to Hyperion’s habitat have caused park officials to close off the area around the tree, so you may not be able to see this one in person.
5- Muir Snag
While no longer living, Muir Snag earns a special spot on this list because of its age. Estimated to be at least 3500 years old when it died, Muir Snag is a giant sequoia found in the Sequoia National Forest, specifically in the Converse Basin Grove. While it could’ve grown much taller if it had lived, Muir Snag is still an impressive 140 feet tall and 36 feet wide. There are a number of other giants in this basin too, keeping Muir Snag company in its old age!
How Big Are Redwood Trees?
Redwood trees are the tallest trees in the world, though coast redwoods grow taller than giant sequoias. In contrast, however, giant sequoias grow thicker and more massive than coast redwoods, and far more massive than any other tree on Earth. On average, giant sequoias reach anywhere from 150-250 feet tall, while coast redwoods reach an average of 200-350 feet tall. In terms of mass, coast redwoods can’t beat giant sequoias. The average giant sequoia tree is over 1,000 cubic meters in volume, while coast redwoods average below 1,000 cubic meters.
Where Can You See Redwood Trees in Person?
If you want to see the biggest and most impressive giant sequoia trees or coast redwood trees in the wild, you will only find them in California. While redwood trees are grown around the world, particularly in arboretums or locations that can accommodate their size, California is the native habitat of these trees and where some of the oldest specimens are located.
If you want to see both coast redwoods and giant sequoias in California, here are some of the best places to find them!:
- Sequoia National Park
- Kings Canyon National Park
- Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park
- Humboldt Redwoods State Park
- Montgomery Woods State Natural Reserve
- Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park
Summary of the 5 Biggest and Oldest Redwood Trees
|Sequoia National Park
|275 ft tall/40 ft diameter
|2,000-3,000 years old
|Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park
|320 ft tall/30 ft diameter
|Kings Canyon National Park
|260 ft tall/110 ft diameter
|1,600 years old
|Redwood National Park
|381 ft tall/530 cubic meters
|600-800 years old
|Sequoia National Forest
|140 ft tall/36 ft diameter
|3,500 years old
The photo featured at the top of this post is © arkanto/Shutterstock.com
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- The General Sherman Tree, Available here: https://www.nps.gov/seki/learn/nature/sherman.htm