His Majesty King Juan Carlos I donated the first tree to the University of Alicante Tree Campaign: a young sequoia (picture to the right). The University of Alicante donated an Elche palm tree to the Royal Household, which at present can be found in the gardens of the Zarzuela Palace. We are most grateful for the King's kind gesture. The sequoia was carefully transplanted in the middle of the main road of the original area of the campus so it could be admired by many, but its sunlight exposure in the summer was too high. To avoid potential risks, José Luis Romeu, head of the UA Gardening Service, considered that it should be taken to a shaded spot. Since then, the sequoia is in excellent health and its growth has been incredible. We are confident that its trunk will become as splendid by the Mediterranean as it does in the Pacific woodlands!
Adult sequoias, whose trunk is extraordinary, are a sight to behold. In America, giant sequoias grow in woods full of huge trees, which makes it difficult to perceive their actual size. The biggest sequoias are as high as a 26-storey building and broader than many streets! These trees are constantly growing, so they produce about 14 m3 of wood every year. Some giant sequoias are estimated to be between 1,800 and 2,700 years old.
These specimens have witnessed the fall and rise of civilisations, survived many forest fires and extended periods of drought, and have become an inspiration across generations. The biggest sequoia we know of, called General Sherman (see picture to the right), is in Giant Forest and its dimensions are astonishing: 92 m high, 34 m in diameter and 18 m3 in volume. The picture to the left shows General Grant, in Grant Grove Nature Park. A bit smaller than General Sherman, it ranks as the third biggest sequoia in the world.