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What Is the World's Largest Tree?
The General Sherman tree is found in Sequoia National Park and is believed to be the world's largest tree by volume.
Credit: Linda & Dr. Dick Buscher

The largest tree in the world is a giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) in California's Sequoia National Park. Called General Sherman, the tree is about 52,500 cubic feet (1,487 cubic meters) in volume.

That's the equivalent of more than half the volume of an Olympic-size swimming pool, commonly considered to be 88,500 cubic feet (2,506 cubic meters).

General Sherman is estimated to be about 2,000 years old. That makes it only a middle-age giant sequoia, as other trees are believed to be more than 3,220 years old, based on tree ring counts.

The tree lost a huge branch in 2006, which shattered a new walkway and fence below. It didn't affect General Sherman's ranking as the largest tree, however, as that was calculated using trunk volume and not branches.

General Sherman is also tall, standing 274.9 feet (83.8 meters) high, but that doesn't put it anywhere close to the record of tallest tree. The honor of tallest tree in the world is bestowed upon Hyperion, a 379.7-foot-tall (115.7 m) redwood also located in California.

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