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The Californian giant in St Helens

23 August 2019

There's a big surprise waiting for visitors to St Helens' Griffin Wood – a young giant, a long way from home, now starting to grow. And not any old giant either – he's got a hugely famous parent! (pictured above)

It's a Californian Giant Sequioa, also known as the Sierra Redwood, which can reach heights of over 90 metres. Now visible from the M62 motorway (between junctions 8 and 9, on the north side) our giant is growing well and we hope will be an iconic tree in years to come. The tree is an enduring reminder of the huge American presence in this area in wartime, with the former RAF Burtonwood airfield just a few fields away – at the time the biggest American air base in Europe.

The Griffin Wood Giant Sequoia:

The tree came to the Mersey Forest many years ago as a tiny sapling. A local woman grew seeds taken from the famous General Sherman tree in California – the largest known single stem tree anywhere on Earth!

And General Sherman is not only the largest living tree, but the largest living organism, by volume, on the planet. With a height of 83.8 metres and a circumference of 31.3 metres it's an incredible 2,300–2,700 years old.

Our young giant has a long way to go – but imagine what the world might be like when he's all grown up!

Visit Griffin Wood

A-Z of trees in The Mersey Forest


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