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Kunratice Forest

Giant sequoia Sequoiadendron giganteum

Also known as the mammoth tree, this is the biggest tree on Earth. The giant sequoia belongs to a class of conifers that was once very broad; their heyday was in the Cretaceous era of the Mesozoic (the dinosaur era). As a botanical species, this tree was unknown to the European civilization until 1841. The rarity of the sequoia was soon recognized, and the species was protected from logging and nature parks were established on sites where it grew.

The giant sequoia is a majestic tree of imposing dimensions. An evergreen conifer with a conical top and relatively dense branching, it grows up to 80 m tall. At present, the giant sequoia only occurs naturally at elevations between 1500 and 2500 metres above seal level, on the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada in California; it was once commonly planted in Europe as an ornamental tree in parks. Giant sequoias have reached biblical age, although they are not the oldest trees (the oldest tree is the bristlecone pine, which lives for up to 4700 years). Still, an age of 2000–3000 years is truly admirable. Giant sequoias are the largest living organisms on this planet. The first place is held by a tree called the General Sherman, growing in Sequoia National Park in California, USA, 83 metres tall and 24 metres in trunk circumference.

In Kunratice Forest, you can spot sequoias in the forest nursery and in the forester’s lodge garden. Two huge sequoias grow in the nursery. They were raised from the seeds of Ratměřice Sequoias, planted in the chateau garden near Benešov by Count Chotek. Their trunks are 340 and 335 cm in circumference, and they grow noticeably larger every year. Their conical tops reach 34.5 and 35 metres respectively. These imposing evergreen trees draw every passer’s-by eyes with their stature.

GPS position

N 50° 2.112', E 14° 28.082'



Ústav pro ekopolitiku, o.p.s.
Mgr. Lubomír Bartoš
Tel.:+ 420 224 828 257