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General Grant Tree

The Nation's Christmas Tree

In 1926, President Calvin Coolidge designated the General Grant Tree as the Nation's Christmas Tree. The tree is a living memorial to the men and women of the United States who have given their lives in service to their country. It was proclaimed a National Shrine on March 29, 1956 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The official dedication was made that year on Veterans Day, November 11, by the president's personal representative, Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz. It is the only living National Shrine and each year during the Christmas ceremony, park rangers place a large wreath at the base of the Grant Tree, remembering those who gave their lives.

General Grant is the largest tree in Kings Canyon National Park. Named for the leader of the Union forces during the Civil War, the General Grant Tree is the world's third-largest living being and has the greatest base diameter of any sequoia at 40.3 feet. This is 3.5 feet more than the world's largest tree, General Sherman, in Sequoia National Park.

The Grant tree trunk, however, quickly tapers to 29 feet DBH (Diameter at Breast Height, or 4.5 feet above the ground), the standard measure of tree size. More fun facts: The General Grant Tree is as tall as a 27-story building. It is wider at the base than a three-lane freeway.

Judy, looking up to General Grant

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