Biggest straw on Earth Since the 1950s, the Sierra Nevada snowpack has shrunk by nearly 15 percent. With less winter snow, which sequoias rely on for much of their summer water supply, both trees and their seedlings may suffer during long, dry summers. (The Sierra Nevada mountains are the only place in the world where sequoias are found.)
The President Tree, an enormous 3,240-year-old tree in Sequoia National Park, slurps 2,831 liters (748 gallons) of water every day during its growing season, according to research presented here at the Ecological Society of America's annual meeting Aug. 11 through Aug. 14. [All Yours: The 10 Least Visited National Parks (Photos)]
All that water supplies the mighty tree's huge amount of wood and almost 2 billion leaves. The leaves alone weigh in at just over 2 tons (1,831 kilograms), Ambrose said. "That's just mind-boggling," he said.
Ambrose and his colleagues climb sequoias and their cinnamon-colored cousins, the coast redwood, measuring how the trees change from bottom to top. The study is part of the 10-year Redwoods and Climate Change Initiative, funded by the Save the Redwoods League in San Francisco.