Giant sequoias and California redwoods (also called coast redwoods) are nature’s skyscrapers. These enormous trees exist primarily in Northern California.
The coast redwood region is a narrow strip of land extending 450 miles from southern Oregon to about 150 miles south of San Francisco, with by far the greatest concentrations of redwoods occurring in Humboldt County.
No doubt, redwood trees are huge, and redwood forests are super-quiet and peaceful. But did you know…? Here are 10 interesting facts about redwood trees.
1. One tree can live for more than 2,000 years, which means there are trees alive today that first sprouted during the Roman Empire.
2. Redwoods have shallow root systems that travel more than one hundred feet from the tree.
3. Redwoods regularly grow to be more than 200 feet tall.
4. The world’s tallest tree was discovered in late 2006 in an undisclosed location in the Redwoods National and State Park in Humboldt County. It was named Hyperion and is 379.1 feet tall, which is nearly six stories taller than the Statue of Liberty.
5. A redwood trunk can be 29 feet in diameter at its base. That’s so wide that a tunnel can be cut in it, big enough for a car to drive through.
6. The seed of a Redwood starts from a seed about the size of a tomato seed. A one-inch-long cone that houses the seed falls to the ground, and if the conditions are right, the tree will sprout. With enoug light and water a redwood sapling can grow fast – up to two feet per year.
7. Redwoods can grow from other redwoods. When a tree falls, or is cut down, new trees can sport from the big round stump. Often several trees will grow from the stump. If you see a ring of redwoods in the forest, they probably all sprouted from the same stump.
8. One reason that redwoods are able to live for so long, and grow to be so tall, is that they are very good at defending themselves. Their wood contains a lot of tannin, a chemical that protects them from fungal infections and insect infestations. Redwoods can also live through a fire.
9. Coast redwoods need a lot of water to grow as tall as they do, and the area in Norther California where they live is perfect – it’s a rain forest. The air is cool and damp, and the land is often covered in thick fog. It takes a long time for water to travel all the way from the roots to the top of a redwood, and the fot helps the trees by preventing them from losing moisture to evaporation. In addition, the needles of a redwood can absorb moisture straight from the air.
10. In the summer, where there is much less rainfall, redwoods have an ingenious way of collecting water: They make their own rain! When the fog rolls in, it condenses on the redwood’s needles, and whatever moisture isn’t absorbed then falls to the ground to be soaked up by the tree’s roots.