redwood forest fact

Coast redwoods on the UCI campus are not thriving.

Can redwoods thrive in Southern California climate?

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Redwoods do fine in Southern California, right? Researchers at UC Irvine are not totally convinced. In the 1980’s a scientist by the name of Ernest Ball cloned coast redwood giants from Northern California and reared test-tube redwoods. Many of these Continued

Megan Ferreira and I stand next to one of Yellowstone's remarkable petrified redwoods.

The Oldest Redwood I’ve Ever Seen

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I just returned from a New Year’s trip through Yellowstone National Park, where I hiked out to see one of the petrified redwoods still standing on the forest slopes of Wyoming. This ancient redwood has been through an amazing transformation—its Continued

Grove in Hendy Woods State Park.

Life on the Forest’s Edge

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It takes a long time to get to Hendy Woods State Park from San Francisco. It takes a while to get there from pretty much anywhere, but it’s worth it.  Approaching the park through the Anderson Valley wine country, the Continued

Giant sequoia branches covered in snow. Photo by garden beth, Flickr Creative Commons

Why are Christmas trees pointy on top?

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Why are Christmas trees shaped the way they are, pointy on top and wide at the bottom?  It’s because their growth is regulated by hormones.  One such hormone (called auxin) is produced at the growing tip of the treetop and Continued

The ancient tree known as “Treebeard” has often been used as a traveler camp, and though burned from the inside many times, it has survived with some portions left dead from the fires. Photo by Mark Andre, Environmental Services

Old-Growth Redwood Burns in Arcata

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“Transient Camp Causes Fire in Old-Growth Redwood Tree,” reads the headline posted by the City of Arcata. The fire did not damage just any old redwood.  It burned (and is apparently still burning) in ‘Treebeard,’ a redwood estimated to be Continued

A researcher climbs a giant sequoia at Mountain Home Grove next to a burned giant sequoia that remains alive with two vigorous sprouts near its broken top. Photo credit: Bob Van Pelt

Burned out but not fading away

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It’s fairly difficult for me to imagine living for 3,000 years. Yet giant sequoias live for millennia, standing tall in a single location as the years, decades, and centuries tick by. They are pounded by rain, snow, sweltering heat, lightening, Continued

Giant redwood crowns loom over a canopy of lesser trees (Picea sitchensis, Tsuga heterophylla) in JSRSP. Photo by Stephen Sillett

Cap-and-trade among the redwoods

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This was a big month in California. While the election may be the first thing that comes to mind, we also witnessed the first auction of carbon credits to companies that emit more than 25,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide every Continued

Ants tending aphids on the underside of young leaves of Big Leaf Maple (Acer macrophyllum) in Del Norte County.

Feasting in the Redwood Forest

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No doubt, we have all experienced the joy of showing up to a thoughtfully prepared Thanksgiving feast with family and friends.  Surrounded by overflowing dishes of food, it is nearly impossible to go to bed hungry following a Thanksgiving meal. Continued

Banana slug.

Slug Truth is Stranger than Fiction

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Did you know that the coast redwood forest is home to the largest slug in North America and the second largest slug worldwide*?  Yep, our very own banana slug (Ariolimax columbianus) grows up to 8 inches in length and can Continued

Ageratina adenophora

They call it “forest killer”

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I just returned from a vacation in Nepal, a beautiful country boasting the tallest mountains in the world. For two weeks I trekked through the mountains, seeing stark snowscapes and yak-covered slopes in the northern high Himalayas and the lush Continued

Eel River. Photo by Howard King

Brown to Blue: The Eel River’s Dramatic Changes in Hue

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When the South Fork Eel River in Mendocino County turns blue during the winter, it is impossible not to wonder why the river changes color so much over the course of the year. With first fall rains, autumn leaves falling Continued

Coral fungus in the redwood forest.

There’s More Than Meets the Eye to Forest Fungi

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Did you know that winter rains cause fungi to reproduce in the redwood forest?  Mushrooms are the most visible parts of the fungal body and grow up out of the soil so that the wind will disperse their spores.  When Continued

Clintonia andrewsiana bearing blue fruits at Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park.

Blue as Blue Can Be

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Redwoods are red, Red clintonia is now blue, It’s fall in the forest, Bearing fruits of a brilliant hue. The large shiny green leaves of red clintonia, or Andrew’s clintonia, grow in moist sandy soil in the redwood forest. This Continued

Coast redwood boasting colorful fall leaves at Humboldt Redwoods State Park in August.

True colors are showing

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As summer rolls on every year, people always ask me with concern about why their redwoods have orange foliage. Is it a sign of drought? Is the redwood sick? Luckily for the redwoods, the answer to these questions is quite Continued

Scraping teeth of a bear left this young redwood missing bark.

Bear Breakfast No Picnic for Redwoods

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If you go out in the woods today You’re sure of a big surprise. If you go out in the woods today You’d better go in disguise For every bear that ever there was Will gather there for certain, because Continued

Giant sequoia snag.

Giant Sequoia Snags

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A giant sequoia can grow for more than 2,000 years and in that time easily earn its reputation for being one of the most massive trees on Earth. While the giant sequoia’s sheer size is certainly amazing enough, these giants Continued

Elk Clover. Photo by Keir Morse

A Healing Giant among Redwoods

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Meet a fascinating plant of redwood country: elk clover, also known as California spikenard (Aralia californica), is the only member of the ginseng family that is native to California.  It’s a perennial deciduous plant (meaning it sheds its leaves in Continued

Miner’s lettuce (Claytonia perfoliata)

The Hunger Greens

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Montia perfoliata The forest stretches out for miles all around you. You find a large redwood tree that has been hollowed out at the base by ancient fires to sleep in tonight so you can stay out of the wind Continued

Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park

Fifty Shades of Green

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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 Continued

Fires and humans shape redwood forests.

Impact of Humans on Forest Spans Thousands of Years

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Imagine being the first person to set foot inside the redwood forest. I can picture this visitor pushing through lush ferns as they gazed up at the towering trees. This brave explorer would have no trails to follow as they Continued