John Muir "The Big Trees"
"There is no absolute limit to the existence of any (giant sequoia). Death is due to accidents, not, as that of animals, to the wearing out of organs. Only the leaves die of old age. Their fall is foretold in their structure; but the leaves are renewed every year, and so also are the essential organs wood, roots, bark, buds. Most of the Sierra trees die of disease, insects, fungi, etc., but nothing hurts the big tree. I never saw one that was sick or showed the slightest sign of decay. Barring accidents, it seems to be immortal. It is a curious fact that all the very old sequoias had lost their heads by lightning strokes. "All things come to him who waits." But of all living things, sequoia is perhaps the only one able to wait long enough to make sure of being struck by lightning."
Allegory of the Redwoods (not the same as the giant sequoia, according to Brendan, though some people get them mixed up -- the Redwood is "sequoia sempervirens" and the Giant Sequoia is "sequoia giganteum")
"But what may actually be more amazing than how big the redwoods are or how tall they stand is how long they stand and the fact that, despite their large, wind-catching limbs and their very shallow roots, they stand firm against the strongest storms and the wildest wind. Their secret is simple: Redwoods grow together in groves and intertwine their shallow roots. Thus, the roots of one tree in the grove are the roots of all the trees, interlaced underground and able to hold each tree upright no matter what kind of gale goes on above."