On a hot afternoon in California's Sequoia National Park, Alexis Bernal squints up at the top of a 200-foot-tall tree.
"That is what we would call a real giant sequoia monarch," she says. "It's massive."
At 40 feet in diameter, the tree easily meets the definition of a monarch, the name given to the largest sequoias. It's likely more than 1,500 years old.
Still, that's as old as this tree will get. The trunk is pitch black, the char reaching almost all the way to the top. Not a single green branch is visible.