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