Fifty Shades of Green

Jedediah Smith Redwoods
Jedediah Smith Redwoods

Leaves rustle with the breeze all around you in the redwood forest. I’ve heard leaves called nature’s solar panels and they are the original and perhaps only truly green energy. They absorb carbon dioxide from the air and mix it with sunlight and water to make the forest grow.

I spent this week transversing through the lush understory of Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, home to several of the largest coast redwood trees on Earth. It is the greenest place I’ve ever wandered through with tiny redwood sorrel underfoot, spiky ferns flanking the trails, moss-covered trunks reaching skyward, and a sea of leaves in the canopy overhead. Every plant seems to display leaves of its own shade of green, a clue as to how long the leaves will live. The sturdy, long-lived leaves of the redwood tree are deep, dark green while the delicate, short-lived leaves of the springtime flower trillium are light green.

I highly recommend taking time out of your hectic summer schedule and visit a redwood park today. Check out our Redwood Finder to locate a redwood park near you. Be sure to get lost in the beautiful summer colors.

See you on the trail!

About the author

Emily Burns, the League’s former Director of Science, led the research program that includes the Redwoods and Climate Change Initiative. She holds a PhD in Integrative Biology on the impacts of fog on coast redwood forest flora from the University of California, Berkeley.

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