John Muir


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growing at elevation of 7,700 ft. The highest I have yet met After crossing 3 large streams I found a fine grove in [primary] beauty, about 2 miles long from NW to SE & a mile wide, from 6500 to 7300 ft h [high]. Here S’ward [Southward] another break occurs. The S [Sequoia] is never found in any val [valley] exposed to the rush of flood nor on any hillside so steep and unporous as to shed its soil & rain. Always either when the deep sandy or loamy soil is capable of holding its winter moisture all the year or when the rock is full of innumerable fissures & shaded & cool & moist, upon low passes between partial tributary divide it grows better than elsewhere [sketch] when the sides of the [pass] possess sufficient drainage to supply moisture Also the largest trees are always the oldest & therefore they are always found upon ridgetops isolated from fire by rocky bareness or by streams. Yet not so high [but] that water may be reached by sending roots down to the hundreds of ft perhaps.

[sketch: Sequoia forest 8 ms [miles] long 6 wide wedge shaped]

[sketch: Mid F Tule; N F [North Fork]; Mid Tule; SFT [South Fork Tule]; Deer Crk; White River; Kern River]

Seq [Sequoia] fall mostly uphill because leaves & branches fall & pile against the upper side & burn off the roots and trunks on that side throwing the ponderous trees out of balance. Also the squareness or angularness is controlled by the quality of the soil, sometimes the soil is good & deep & encouraging on one side, bare rock on the other


Sequoia oft seat themselves on bedrock if moist soil be near.

Date Original



Original journal dimensions: 20 x 15 cm.

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Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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John Muir, journals, drawings, writings, travel, journaling, naturalist