General Sherman’s and Grant’s jins

Sherman3 My wife and I vacationed in California this summer and I managed to get in a visit to the big trees (giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum)). This is General Sherman, the largest known single stem tree on earth by volume. Sherman is 275 ft tall with a diameter of 25 ft and an estimated age of 2300 to 2700 years old.

I noticed how Sherman’s apex had died out leaving a natural jin.

Sherman4 Here is a view of the jin taken from a trail about a third of the way up the tree.

Sherman5 Here is another view of the jin higher up on the trail.

Sherman2 Sherman also had a large burn scar at the base. Burns and jins are common on the older trees.

These tough old trees make great models for bonsai.


IMG_1119General Grant is about 15 miles north of General Sherman in Kings Canyon National Park. Grant is estimated to be the 3rd largest tree on earth by bole volume behind Sherman and the President (all 3 trees are Giant Sequoias). These rankings change occasionally as trees lose their apex to wind or fire. Sherman is about 8 feet taller but Grant is 5 feet wider at the base.  Grant has many more branches and may actually contain more wood but only the trunk volume is used for the size estimations.

IMG_1123 As you can see Grant’s apex died out creating a natural jin and a new apex has already shot up past the old jin.


Grant like Sherman also has a large burn scar at the base. These burn scars are common in the older trees. I actually found Grant to be a little more visually appealing than Sherman, but then Sherman has weathered about 1000 more years than Grant.

Have fun!

Greg Logo



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