7 Awesome Facts About Redwood Forests
The majesty of the redwood forests is immediate and undeniable. They are awesome (in the most literal sense of the word). These trees inspire a great welling up of feelings: love, admiration, devotion and hope. But also fear and anxiety – because the thought of losing the redwoods due to human activity is simply tragic. When in these forests, you might find yourself transforming into a vicious mama bear in mating season, lashing out with force at any possible threat to your precious cubs, the redwood trees. It is no wonder John Muir spent his whole life lobbying for the conservation of these trees. And he succeeded, garnering the attention of the President, Teddy Roosevelt.
If you haven’t been to a redwood forest yet, book a trip now. Go hiking, go biking, go trekking, go camping.
Act Your Age
Some redwoods alive today have been living for more than 2,000 years. Redwoods showed up on Earth shortly after the dinosaurs. We estimate that they’ve been around for about 240 million years!
Take A Stand
Redwoods are the tallest trees on the planet. They can grow to be more than 300 feet tall. So even if you call yourself a tree-hugger, good luck getting your arms around that 10-20 foot in diameter trunk!
Stay As You Are
Redwoods only grow on the pacific coast. Although in previous eons they may have been found elsewhere, they can now only be found in the damp and fertile lands of northern California and southern Oregon.
The Past And The Future
At one time we almost completely wiped them out. During and after the California Gold Rush approximately 95% of California’s redwoods were logged in order to build early West Coast cities such as San Francisco. Now, many parts of Northern California are populated by baby redwoods – with the potential of growing on for hundreds and hundreds of years.
If you’ve been in San Francisco as the day falls, you’ve experienced the massive eerie fog creeping over the bay. This fog moves in towards the forests, and the trees soak in hundreds of thousands of gallons of water every night. They soak it in through their leaves, through the soil, but also largely through their bark, which is eternally damp. This contributes to their life span, as these trees cannot burn in forest fires, due to their ever-moist resistance.
Trees are of course crucial in maintaining a healthy biosphere. Somebody has not necessarily lost their marbles when they start speaking to plants, because plants soak in the carbon dioxide we release when we breathe. And we soak in the oxygen they release. It’s a synergistic process – so too with the giant sequoias. These massive beings soak in our collective carbon dioxide, from our cars and trucks too. We need them to stabilize the larger ecosystem. This is just one of many practical reasons why we need to protect and invest in these forests.
By: Nate Kharrl
The redwoods share an unfathomably complex network of roots that extend for miles beneath the surface of the Earth. Should one tree fall ill and begin to die, signals are dispatched throughout this huge root system. The other trees are notified of the impending demise, and that tree’s resources are allocated elsewhere. The tree dies its natural death and its remaining life force is sent throughout the dense network of roots to its tree brethren.
These reasons should suffice to inspire your trip to the California Redwoods. At least add it to your bucket list. It isn’t like anything else on Planet Earth.