FRESNO (CBS/AP) — Scientists measuring Northern California’s giant sequoias to assess their role in fighting climate change have discovered that the tree thought to be the world’s second largest is actually third.

A team led by Humboldt State’s Stephen Sillett has discovered that The President is the second-largest tree, supplanting the nearby General Grant.

The tree presides at Sequoia National Park, east of Visalia.

The researchers are studying how the sequoias and coastal redwoods will be affected by climate change and whether the state’s iconic trees can help combat it.

Sillett said that The President’s 2 billion leaves, the most of any tree on the planet, would make it one of the most efficient at absorbing carbon dioxide during photosynthesis.

The President is still growing and contains 54,000 cubic feet of wood.

The General Sherman is still believed to be the world’s largest tree.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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