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Yosemite Nature Notes - 11 - Big Trees

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[Music]
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150 years ago there were very few things in the world
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that could compare to the size of the Giant Sequoia.
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Now we have skyscrapers, we have statues,
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like the Statue of Liberty, you know,
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so our sense of what is truly immense
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has changed over time.
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But I think that even though we have this exaggerated sense
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of what constitutes the large or the magnificent or the vast,
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when you're in the presence of a Giant Sequoia,
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I think that we adjust ourselves to its scale,
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and once we make that adjustment,
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you can easily be overwhelmed by it.
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I mean, it's not just that there is one,
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there's a forest of them,
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you know, so it's pretty impressive.
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It's rare for a Sequoia to be 300 feet tall,
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they're usually not quite as tall as a football field
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is long, but they can easily be 20-30 feet
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in diameter at ground level.
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As you get closer to these trees,
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it's amazing how large and impressive they truly are.
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These trees are thousands of years old,
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whether they're closer to 1, or 2,
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or 3,000 years of age,
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it's hard to wrap your mind around the time
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that these individual trees have been on the face of the earth.
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We've got a lot of precipitation.
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We've got deep glacial soils here.
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We've got the western aspect,
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which gives them a lot of warmth,
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but squeezes the clouds as they come off the Pacific Ocean,
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and it's just the prefect condition
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for growing the biggest trees in the world.
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There is people visiting this area from all over the world,
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and they come to the Mariposa Grove
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and they think all the trees are big.
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But when you come to a sequoia forest
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or a lot of areas throughout Yosemite National Park,
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you can be dwarfed by Sugar Pine trees,
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you can be dwarfed by Ponderosa Pine,
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and really large other species,
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other than just Giant Sequoia trees.
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So this is certainly a big tree by anyone's measure,
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not as big as the biggest Sugar Pines in the world,
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but in any setting, a magnificent specimen,
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but just dwarfed when you look over your shoulder
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at the Giant Sequoias here.
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So that magnificent Sugar Pine we were looking at,
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viewing it from here in the shadow of this Giant Sequoia,
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