Giant Sequoia Tree

Part of Hall of North American Forests.

A cross-cut sample of a massive tree against a white Museum wall.

The giant sequoia offers a glance at more than 1,400 years of history. The tree from which the Museum's slice was taken stood over 300 feet tall before it was felled by loggers in California, in 1891. Today, it is illegal to cut down giant sequoias.

The sequoia's thick bark is fire-resistant. The trees contain a natural wood preservative, and are highly resistant to disease.

Theodore Roosevelt treasured America's forests. "A grove of giant redwood or sequoias should be kept just as we keep a great and beautiful cathedral," he wrote.