‘The President’: A 3200 year old tree so big it has never been captured in a single image – until now

“The President” doesn’t have a nickname for just any old reason. This giant sequoia, one of the largest trees in the world, stands 75.3m tall, 8.2m wide, measures 1,274.3 cubic metres in volume, and is an estimated 3,200 years old. And it’s never been completely photographed – until a tree-climbing scientist got involved.

Behold – 32 days of work to take 126 individual photos, stitched together to create one amazing image. Michael “Nick” Nichols worked on the image for National Geographic – with the tree representing 110 generations of human life.

More facts: It would take 46 people of average height (1.62m) standing on each other’s heads to reach the top of The President. And it’s still growing – adding one cubic metre of wood per year, making it one of the fastest growing trees in the world.

The oldest individual lifeform on earth? A 5,063 year old bristlecone pine tree.

A team of scientists measure a giant sequoia.
A team of scientists measure a giant sequoia.
The President - Photo by Barry Klein
The President – Photo by Barry Klein
Rapelling down the trunk of 'The President'
Rapelling down the trunk of ‘The President’
The President - a 3200 year old giant sequioa tree
The President – a 3200 year old giant sequioa tree
The tip of the snow-covered President
The tip of the snow-covered President
The President in all it's mighty glory - 126 images stitched together
The President in all it’s mighty glory – 126 images stitched together

About the author

Tristan has a passion for tech, digital life, sport, and being told he looks better in person.

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Comment (15)


    Friday 21 March 2014

    That is beyond impressive.



      Thursday 5 March 2015


      It’s Giant Forest of Sequoia National Park in the United States



    Friday 21 March 2014

    Beautiful. Too bad those people are trying to climb all over the thing.



      Saturday 22 March 2014

      I could be wrong but I suspect those people are the ones studying and photographing the tree and as such have a lot of respect for it and would never do anything harmful to it. They are just having a bit of fun with their work.



      Sunday 23 March 2014

      they arent trying to climb it, thay have actually climbed it, and mapped the canopy, complete with establishing a survey of every species which inhabits it…and fear not, all the sequioa in redwood forest are very very very highly protected as a world heritage site, and there are seriously tight controls placed there – as a forester i can tell you that even in the event of this tree becoming dead, dying or dangerous, ecological statutes would protect the species living on this tree, as these trees fall into the category of both being a protected organism AND a protected habitat.


    Julie Bryant-Sullivan

    Friday 21 March 2014

    Be careful what you advertise. Some moron or govt agency will find a reason to cut it down.



    Saturday 22 March 2014

    I believe it is rapelling, not repelling.



    Wednesday 2 April 2014

    Pffft! We get bigger trees on Pandora! Or at least we used to… ๐Ÿ™



    Thursday 5 June 2014

    Crap photo… Why is the guy at the top of the tree twice the size of the guy on the floor.



    Friday 6 June 2014

    Fake, look at the difference in size of the climbers unless the guy at the top is a giant.


      Tristan Rayner

      Saturday 7 June 2014

      Not fake, just a scaling issue with the final photograph.



      Sunday 13 December 2015

      It’s not fake, it’s just the angles and distance they took the pictures at are a little off. The photographer was closer to the man at the top when he took that picture, which means the trunk is actually a bit bigger. Very impressive project overall ๐Ÿ™‚


    Fayrooz Johnson

    Tuesday 3 March 2015

    Wow! Way beyond impressive. Its an historic monument. Now will somebody please give its location? We’re from South Africa.



    Saturday 7 March 2015

    Did you not watch the video before commenting? The picture is multiple photos stitched together so quite possible to have different levels of zoom etc for the various panes used to create the final piece!


    Lumber Jack

    Saturday 1 October 2016

    Claire… you took the words right out of my mouth…