Magazine article American Forests

Big Wonder

Magazine article American Forests

Big Wonder

Article excerpt

With a little help from nature, "Mendocino Tree," a 600- to 800-year-- old coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) was recently crowned the world's tallest living thing.

The 367.5-foot behemoth in Ukiah, California's Montgomery Woods State Reserve was declared tallest of the tall by state park rangers and the San Francisco-based Save the Redwoods League after a winter storm knocked 10 feet off the height of the previous record holder in Redwood National Park in Del Norte County, California.

A team of Humboldt State researchers first measured "Mendocino" in mid-March; the Guiness Book of World Records later videotaped and verified its size. Although tall, Mendocino fails to capture U.S. "biggest tree" honors. Those bragging rights belong to the General Sherman, a giant sequoia that stands 275 feet tall with a 998-inch circumference and a 107-foot crown spread, for a total of 1,300 points in AMERICAN FORESTS' National Register of Big Trees. A coast redwood in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park comes in for second-biggest honors at 313 feet tall, 867-- inch circumference, and 101-foot crown spread, a total of 1,205 points.

Although Mendocino Tree's overall location is no secret, only a lucky few will be able to distinguish it from its lofty neighbors. The 1,300-acre reserve where it resides is the least-- visited of Mendocino County's redwood preserves, and local citizens are taking steps to protect the tree in light of its newfound fame. To preserve the fragile area surrounding the giant, no plaque will mark Mendocino's unique status. In fact, some locals have removed park road signs as an extra safeguard to protect the tree for future generations.

-Jessica Morrison


Gear up for our 125th anniversary next autumn; test your knowledge of AMERICAN FORESTS history. Mail or fax (202/887-1075) your responses to Quiz c/o American Forests magazine or do the quiz online ( Stumped? Take your best guess; three winners will receive an Elvis or Johnny Appleseed tree from Famous & Historic Trees. Enter by September 30, please!

1. When (month and year) was the American Forestry Association (now AMERICAN FORESTS) founded? Bonus: Where?

2. Who was its first president? Hint: He coined the term "conservation. …

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