10 Cool Facts About Redwoods
10 Cool Facts About Redwoods
- They’re the tallest trees on Earth! The tallest living tree in the world is a Coast Redwood located in Redwood National Park, California. Nicknamed Hyperion, the tree measures 380 feet tall and 16 feet in diameter as of 2019. Hyperion’s believed to be between 600 and 800 years old.
- They’re thousands of years old! The oldest recorded redwood tree was believed to be about 3,5000 years old and was located in the Sierra Nevadas, but is no longer alive. Today, the oldest living redwood is known as the President, also located in the Sierra Nevadas, and foresters guess it’s around 3,200 years old. Over the last decade, the President tree has grown an average of 22.5 feet and 700 pounds each year.
- Their old growth is incredibly rare! Old growth redwood is highly valued for its beauty and durability, but only 5% of old growth trees are left, 95% were clear cut for building in the 1850’s. Most redwood trees we see today are second and third growth branching off of their parent tree’s seeds or stumps.
- They love the Pacific Coast! Redwoods predominantly grow within a 450 mile stretch from southern Oregon to Big Sur, California. The strip ranges from 5 miles wide to about 35 miles wide and is ideal for redwoods because temperatures are moderate, the climate is humid and the coastal fog provides them enough moisture year round to thrive.
- They’re home to many creatures! Amongst the canopy of a redwood tree, a whole ecosystem can exist. From animals and plants to lichens that aren’t found on the ground. For example, the wandering salamander lives its entire life in the top branches of a single redwood tree.
- They grow together! According to the University of California Agriculture & Natural Resources Department, a grove of redwoods currently growing in Humboldt Redwoods State Park is the largest measured concentration of living material, or biomass, in the world, even higher than the Amazon rain forest.
- They support each other! Redwoods have an incredible root system that’s shallow yet widespread and intertwines with neighboring redwoods. This underground system supports and anchors neighboring trees allowing them to better withstand strong winds or floods. New redwoods can sprout from the roots of their parent trees and through those roots, parents can provide water and sugar to help the sprout grow. Redwoods also take care of one another, sharing nutrients through their roots to trees that may be sick, old or dying.
- They fight climate change! Studies show that redwoods capture more carbon dioxide than any other tree on the planet. Redwoods can consistently hold at least three times more carbon than the air surrounding them. A combination of their large size, long lifespan and resistant bark makes them beacons in the fight against climate change.
- They can make their own rain! A redwood’s leaves can absorb fog from the air to take in moisture and their leaves can condense the fog into rain droplets which falls and soaks the soil around their base. Their leaves also have the ability to release terpenes which helps condense the moisture in the air into clouds to help cool and hydrate the forest.
- There’s albino redwoods! Last measured in 2014, there are approximately 230 chimeric albino redwoods in Northern California. They all have a genetic mutation that prevents them from producing chlorophyll.