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Redwood Trees

Redwood Trees

The redwood tree is one of the oldest, and includes some of the tallest, trees on earth. Before commerical logging, redwoods grew naturally along the entire coast of California. Now, old growth redwoods grow in only a few, limited places along the coast.

 

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Julia Revzin

Julia Revzin

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Mere acquisition of the redwood groves does not ensure the long-term survival of the redwoods ecosystem . Based on almost 70 years of study by park planners and ecologists, a major goal of the Save-the-Redwoods League is to complete each of the existing redwoods parks as ecological units along logical watershed boundary lines. The acquisition of these watershed lands are necessary to act as a buffer around the groves to protect them from effects of adjacent logging and development.

Article: Save-the-Redwoods League
Source: Environmental Encyclopedi...
Julia Revzin

Julia Revzin

7 Knowledge Cards 

It's not enough to just save the trees themselves. It's impossible to seperate an organism from it's ecosystem, especially when in the context of a forest, which is made up of more than just trees. All the flora, fauna, and geological strcutures (the soil composition, water sources, etc.) must be preserved as well.

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The impetus for forming the organization was a trip taken in 1917 by several of these men and others during which they witnessed widespread destruction of the forests by loggers. They were appalled to learn that not one tree was protected by either the state or the federal government.

Article: Save-the-Redwoods League
Source: Environmental Encyclopedi...

Since 1918, Save the Redwoods League has protected and restored redwood forests and connected people with their peace and beauty.

For those who have had the chance to stand in a redwood grove, there are few life experiences that match it. Even if you have only seen a photo of the few ancient redwood forests left—and most of us have—it's hard to imagine life on our planet without these awesome and majestic places. We can all agree that there are some places on Earth that are so special that they are worth saving. That's why there is such strong support for protecting redwood lands.

Article: What We Do
Source: Save the Redwoods League

96 percent of the original old-growth coast redwoods have been logged.

Article: Redwood
Source: Frequently Asked Question...
Julia Revzin

Julia Revzin

7 Knowledge Cards 

However, the redwood's incredible water, fire and disease resistance makes them very attractive to loggers, and redwood is considered to be one of the most beautiful and most durable bulding wood around.

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The life span of the coast redwood is believed to be 2,500 years. Interestingly, the coast Redwood has the ability to sprout from the root-crown following death of the main stem. In other words, new redwood trees may sprout from their parent’s roots. The trees are tolerant to flooding and their bark is resistant to fire.

Article: Redwood Tree Facts
Source: Redwood Tree Facts « Lea...

The bark of a coastal redwood is very thick, as much as a foot in places. And it exhibits an unusual property when exposed to fire- it chars into a heat shield. It actually turns into a pretty effective abalative, similiar to the way a heat shield on a re-entry vehicle works.

The chemical composition of the tree itself is apparently distasteful or even poisonous to normal tree pests like termites and ants. That is why it was used as the first layer of boards in a wall, because termites and carpenter ants won't burrow into it. In the 30's to the early 60's redwood was used as a separator between the plates of electrolytic (auto, truck and airplane) batteries. The wood could can withstand the battery acid and still retain its shape.

Redwood is very resistant to water associated rot. It is not uncommon to drill a well in a creek bed in this area and end up drilling right through a redwood log that may have been buried there for thousands of years. The wood comes out of the pipe sound and in good shape.

Article: Trees Of Mystery
Source: Trees Of Mystery
Julia Revzin

Julia Revzin

7 Knowledge Cards 

Redwood trees have survived as long as they have, and are as popular for building with as they are, becuase of their incredible resistance to disease, fire and rot, maaking them essentially the top of their ecosystem food chain.

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The trees grow tall for the following reasons: large amounts of rain (60-140 inches per year), mostly from November-April; summer fog which reduces evapotranspiration; temperate climate, average temperatures between 45 degrees and 61 degrees Fahrenheit; rich soil in river bottom flats; few natural enemies; burl sprouts (see following question), which promote growth after injury by fire or toppling; wind protection by other redwoods.

Article: Redwood
Source: Frequently Asked Question...

Coast redwoods are the tallest and one of the longest living tree species. Average mature trees are typically 200–240 ft (61–73 m) tall, although some trees exceed 360 ft (109 m). The world's tallest known tree is a coast redwood that stands 368 ft (112 m) tall on the banks of Redwood Creak in Redwood National Park...

Article: Redwoods
Source: Environmental Encyclopedi...

Giant redwood trees grow naturally only along a narrow belt on the Northern California coastline. They thrive in a moist, humid climate, and the near-daily coastal fog provides them with exactly the kind of conditions they need to grow. The fog adds moisture to the soil and lowers their rate of evaporation as well.

Article: Giant Redwood Trees and S...
Source: Giant Redwood Trees | Gia...
Julia Revzin

Julia Revzin

7 Knowledge Cards 

All of the remaining redwood species are restricted to very specific areas. Redwoods used to be incredibly adundant along coasts and mountains, and are one of the most ancient tree species still alive.

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There are two domestic species of trees that are commonly referred to as redwoods: the coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens), and Giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum). Redwood trees get their common name from their bark and heartwood, which is the dark, reddish-brown portion of the trees which stems from high tannin levels. In addition to tannins, redwood trees contain other chemicals which impart resistance to insects and fungal disease.

Article: Redwood Tree Facts
Source: Redwood Tree Facts « Lea...

There are three genera of redwood trees, each with a single species . The native range of the coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens ) is a narrow 450-mi (725-km) strip along the Pacific Ocean from central California to southern Oregon. The giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum ) is restricted to about 75 groves scattered over a 260-mi (418-km) belt, nowhere more than 15 mi (24 km) wide, extending along the west slope of the Sierra Nevadas in central California...

Article: Redwoods
Source: Environmental Encyclopedi...
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