Skip to main content
Go to the Homepage
Fossilized redwood leaves
Fossilized redwood leaves

The redwood lineage has lived on Earth for many millions of years. The first recognizable Sequoia left its imprint in the fossil record 200 millions ago, during the Jurassic when dinosaurs roamed the land and filled the sea. If we journeyed back through time to walk through those forests in search of the first redwoods, we would see many conifers and fantastic ferns that bore large seeds, species that sadly went extinct so long ago.

Would we have recognized redwoods among the markedly different flora and fauna of the past? I like to think so, yes! What remains today of these first redwoods are imprints of the leaves and cones, clues suggesting redwoods leaves then and now were not incredibly different.

Amazingly, the redwoods survived the ages as geologic time ticked forward as so many other plants and animals went extinct. The redwood distribution has radically shrunk over the past 60 million years and yet we are so lucky to still have redwoods along the West Coast of North America.

To learn more about the current distribution of redwoods, click here.


Tags: , , ,


About Emily Burns

Emily joined Save the Redwoods League as the Director of Science in 2010 after studying redwood forest ecology for seven years.


Share this Article


Dendrochronology: The Glue that Binds RCCI

The first phase of the Redwoods and Climate Change Initiative was based upon understanding how past climate has affected the ancient redwood and giant sequoia forests.  To do this, the research teams relied upon the science of dendrochronology: the analysis of … Continued


A Redwood of a Blog: How the Giant Trees Grow

RCCI’s nursery experiments and tree ring analyses are essential to understanding the past and future of the redwood forest, but it is the trees themselves that tell us about its present. By establishing 16 large plots in old-growth forests throughout … Continued


Leave a Reply