Will's Tree Challenge: Question #4

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(For those of you reading this for the first time, don't scroll down and read the answers given, instead reply first and see if you were correct, before confirming it.)

What species of tree, native to North America, has had three American Presidents as benefactors? Who were the presidents and how were they benefactors?


Hint: This species has also had three scientific names since its first bontanical description.





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I would imagine that there could be multiple answers to this question, but this is certainly one of them. It involves Sequoia sempervirens (the Coastal Redwood) and varying levels of protection for these trees over the years.

Originally, the federal government looked to protect these trees in 1864 when Abraham Lincoln transferred the land around the Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Big Tree Grove to the state of California in an effort to protect this area from development.

On October 1, 1890, President Harrison signed a national park bill that had been introduced to create Yosemite National Park to surround the existing state reservations which protected Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove of Big Trees and added additional lands to create Sequoia National Park.

On April 15, 2000 President Clinton signed a proclamation designating 327,769 acres of the Sequoia National Forest the Giant Sequoia National Monument.

According to the National Parks Service - Of the 75 or so sequoia groves in the world, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks protect 29 of them.

1 tree - three presidential benefactors. But again, surely there are other instances?

Thanks for the question Will!
-JT
 

bonsai barry

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I would imagine that there could be multiple answers to this question, but this is certainly one of them. It involves Sequoia sempervirens (the Coastal Redwood) and varying levels of protection for these trees over the years.

Originally, the federal government looked to protect these trees in 1864 when Abraham Lincoln transferred the land around the Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Big Tree Grove to the state of California in an effort to protect this area from development.

On October 1, 1890, President Harrison signed a national park bill that had been introduced to create Yosemite National Park to surround the existing state reservations which protected Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove of Big Trees and added additional lands to create Sequoia National Park.

On April 15, 2000 President Clinton signed a proclamation designating 327,769 acres of the Sequoia National Forest the Giant Sequoia National Monument.

According to the National Parks Service - Of the 75 or so sequoia groves in the world, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks protect 29 of them.

1 tree - three presidential benefactors. But again, surely there are other instances?

Thanks for the question Will!
-JT

JT (Laughing Stock) has certainly done his homework! However, the sequoia in the Sierra is not Sempervirens but Sequoiadendron Giagantium. For those people who care about details, the Yosemite Grant and Yosemite National Park were joined together to form a single park in 1906. Interestingly, the impetus for creating Sequoia National Park was that a group of socialists trying to create a utopian colony had plan to harvest the Big Trees. They had, in fact, changed the name of the largest sequoia, the General Sherman tree, to the Karl Marx tree. Another presidential connection is that the tree's bontanical name was almost the Washingtonia. Another fact, a former presidential yacht is the U.S.S. Sequoia.

However, all said and done, this might not be the tree Will is refering too
 
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The tallest of all living things, the Giant Sequoia is now found only in 75 groves covering 36,607 acres along the western Sierra Nevada in California.

The seeds of these giants are so small that it takes 3000 of them to make a single ounce.

In the first botanical description of this tree, John Lindley named it ‘Wellington Gigantea’ in honor of the Duke of Wellington. In 1847 it was added to the Sequoia genus and became known as the Sierra Redwood ‘Sequoia Giganteum’ Although some patriotic American botanists tried to change the name to ‘Sequoia Washingtonia’ it finally was accorded its own genus ‘Sequoiadendron Giganteum’

In 1864 president Lincoln signed into legislation a bill that established Mariposa Grove as the first preserve for the Giant Sequoia.

In 1908 president Roosevelt designated Muir Woods a national monument.

In 2000 president Clinton established the Giant Sequoia National Monument, protecting the rest of the Giant Sequoia ecosystem, approximately 400,000 additional acres were added tp the 402,000 existing in the Sequoia National Park, which was created in 1890.


References:

The Redwoods – California Big Trees – Maureen Gilmer - Garden Forum www.gardenforum.com/redwoods
Botanica – North America – Marjorie Harris
 

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