They can grow up to 350 feet tall, 100 feet around, live up to 2,000 years and have bark up to 12 inches thick…. You guessed it…. Redwoods! One of the most iconic trees in the world is right in your back yard! (okay, maybe not quite your back yard, but within a short drive!) I have been extremely fortunate to be living and working among Redwood trees in California during our break from school and am thoroughly enjoying spending time amidst some of the most amazing trees in the world! Their size is really almost impossible to capture in a picture, but having a friend stand in the picture helps a little bit for scale (thanks Kristen for being the model below!).
The Giant Redwood, Sequoia sempervirens, grows along the west coast from central California to southern Oregon, and relies on mist from the ocean to provide its moisture. The Redwood canopy is very thick and barely lets any light in, but other shade-loving species are often found in the understory of Redwood forests.
The names Redwood and Sequoia are often used interchangeably, but they are each a different subspecies of the Sequoioideae sub-family. Although they are very similar, Giant Sequoias (Sequoiadendron giganteum) are found at higher elevations (5,000 – 8,000ft) in the Sierra Nevada’s, and tend to have a longer lifespan.
Did you know????? Scientists have discovered a growth spurt in Redwood trees that they think is caused by the warming climate temperatures. Check out the full article here: http://www.sfgate.com/science/article/Ancient-redwoods-in-growth-spurt-of-a-lifetime-4730759.php#page-1
People come from all over the world to see these natural wonders, so don’t forget to appreciate them! Take a short trip in the next couple weeks to go hug a Redwood!