One of the world’s oldest trees is so massive that it has never been photographed in a single frame until now.

The President, the world’s second-largest known tree, lives in the heart of Sequoia National Park. The giant sequoia is over 3,200 years old! It is 247 feet tall, 27 feet in diameter, and has 2 billion leaves! When all of the biomass of the tree (the wood and limbs of the tree) is added together, it is most likely the largest on the planet!

Michael “Nick” Nichols, a National Geographic photographer, wanted to capture the majestic tree in its entirety in one photo for all to see. However, this presented some significant challenges. So he went into the forest with Humboldt State University forest ecologist Steve Sillet and his colleagues. The scientists climb the massive redwoods on a regular basis and measure them inch by inch.

The climbers scaled the tree with a variety of tools and created a mosaic of 126 images. It took over two weeks to complete all of the shots, but the results are truly breathtaking!

Because the President is still growing, Nichols may need to go back and take another photo in the future. It generates approximately one cubic meter of wood per year!

Here’s a quick video of how this amazing composite photo was created (which you can see below the video). The final image is revealed at 1:35 in the video!

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