61 California Redwood Facts: Interesting Trivia About These Giant Trees | Kidadl


61 California Redwood Facts: Interesting Trivia About These Giant Trees

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Redwoods are magnificent trees that are awe-inspiring in person.

California redwoods are also known as coast redwoods. They are the largest trees found in northern California.

The redwood forest canopy provides a diverse habitat for wild animals as well as other species existing in the same ecosystem. Yet, even after giving so much to the environment, these magnificent creations have dwindled in numbers. Old-growth redwoods, which are the ones that have existed for a long time, are not as often seen as young redwoods, which are only 100-150 years old.

Due to their high demand for buildings, 95% of redwood trees have been logged since the 1850s. Only about 5% of the initial old-growth coast redwoods still exist. The demand for the redwood wood increased when buildings built from California redwoods in San Francisco survived a fire that raged in the city. More redwoods trees were logged for the rebuilding of the city.

Conservation measures were undertaken by concerned people after the '90s, and large redwood forests are now preserved and protected. An attempt to further re-establish the vast redwood forest between the Silicon Valley and the Pacific Ocean is currently being made. Old-growth redwoods should be conserved too by carefully protecting and preserving the existing ones.

Restoring the large numbers of redwoods is extremely important in today's world because pollution levels keep rising and global warming is causing an unstable environment. Redwoods have the ability to help with climate change and can also offer a habitat to various species of wildlife and plants.

Facts About California Redwoods

California redwoods are a tree species that have a significant impact on the environment and the other flora and fauna species that depend on these trees for survival. Here are some interesting facts about California redwoods and where you can find them.

  • Coast redwoods have the Latin name called Sequoia sempervirens. The latter part of the name means 'evergreen' or 'everlasting'.
  • This name refers to the long lifespan of redwood trees.
  • There is only one place on Earth where coast redwoods grow and thrive, and this is along the Pacific Coast. The range starts from the Big Sur to southern Oregon.
  • In the past, redwood forests used to exist in western North America as well as along the coasts of Asia and Europe.
  • Along with coast redwoods, there are two other types of redwoods that exist today.
  • Giant sequoias only grow in the Sierra Nevada, California.
  • Giant sequoias are scientifically known as Sequoiadendron giganteum. They are known to be shorter but heftier than coast redwoods.
  • Giant sequoias can be found in the Kings Canyon National Park and Sequoia National Park.
  • The second redwood species is the dawn redwood, whose official scientific name is Metasequoia glyptostroboides.
  • The dawn redwood tree has a height that is one-third of the height of a coast redwood.
  • Both giant sequoias and dawn redwood trees are considered to be close relatives of coast redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens).
  • The red forest found from central California to southern Oregon is present in the form of long belts instead of small groves.
  • A local nonprofit organization in California has been set up, Sempervirens Fund, which aims to protect and care for this redwood forest and expand these local parks to bring humans, wildlife, and redwoods together.

The Characteristics Of California Redwoods

Each species on Earth has features or characteristics that make up their unique identity, separating them from other species. Redwood trees have some very distinctive characteristics and some of them are listed below.

  • The redwood tree is astonishingly tall; in fact, it is the tallest tree on Earth.
  • The height of these tallest trees can reach up to 300 ft (91.44 m). They are even taller than pine and tanoak trees.
  • In addition to being the tallest tree, redwoods are also believed to be the oldest tree species in the world.
  • This means that the redwood tree species has existed on Earth for a very long time. It is believed that these trees showed up soon after the the dinosaurs, which means they existed long before human civilization began.
  • Redwoods also have the ability to live for a long time.
  • They can live for decades, or even centuries, if not disturbed by humans.
  • According to an official record, the oldest coast redwood has lived for 2,200 years at least.
  • Foresters further believe that there might be redwoods that have lived for far longer but have yet to be detected.
  • Redwoods have to have very good root systems in order to support their height and growth rate.
  • Redwoods have shallow roots, which means they are not spread deep enough considering their height.
  • Their roots only go about 6-12 ft (1.8-3.6 m) under the ground.
  • Even though the roots are shallow, the roots of a redwood tree extend around 50 ft (15 m) from the trunk in groves.
  • This system of groves creates the opportunity for the roots of different redwoods to intertwine together.
  • The strength to withstand floods and strong winds is provided through this connection between the various trees.
  • The intertwined roots system also help in providing each redwood with the needed carbon and other nutrients for its growth.
  • You might see them growing in a circular form and this is called 'family circles' or 'family rings'.
  • This is because it is highly possible for these trees to have grown from the roots of a parent tree.
  • Redwoods are pretty sturdy, with large trunks and thick bark that protect these trees from various elements.
  • The bark of redwood trees contains high amounts of tannins, a compound that acts as resistance against diseases, fungus, and insects.
  • Redwoods are also considered to be fire resilient as their bark has a very small amount of resin.
redwoods is extremely important in today's world

The Importance Of California Redwoods

Redwood trees nourish not just their neighboring trees but also serve other purposes of great significance for the rest of the world too. Here are some benefits of California redwoods.

  • Redwood forests provide great homes for many other species.
  • The branches of redwood trees, which are high off the ground, create small ecosystems of their own.
  • When the leaves of redwood trees shed, they get collected on these branches because of their height and widespread branches.
  • These leaves, along with water and dust, eventually form a soil mat, which then houses a mini-ecosystem.
  • Plants such as ferns, lichen, huckleberries, moss, and surprisingly even different trees can be found existing in the canopies of redwood trees.
  • These plants become the food for amphibians and insects also living in these soil mats.
  • Various species of small mammals and birds like squirrels and bats create their nests and homes in redwood trees. This is because these soil mates in redwood trees provide animals with food.
  • The redwood forests in the Santa Cruz Mountains, northern California, are close to the edge of one fo the largest temperate rainforests in the world that extends along the Pacific Coast up north.
  • These redwood forests are home to a large number of wildlife species.
  • Wild and Endangered species such as Coho salmon, marbled murrelet, and mountain lions are dependent on these redwood forests to exist.
  • Redwoods are considered to be climate change heroes.
  • While all species of trees are important for creating a human-friendly climate that is also stable, redwood trees play a special role in climate change.
  • Research has found that redwoods, especially coast redwoods, absorb more carbon dioxide from power plants, trucks, and cars than all other tree species in the world.
  • Redwood trees are able to absorb carbon three times more than regular trees from the air due to their long lifespan, height, as well as rot-resistant wood.
  • This helps to clean more air and keep temperatures from rising.
  • An interesting fact about redwood forests is that they are able to make rain.
  • Redwood trees like a moist environment better as it provides them with all the water they require to grow really tall.
  • Through evolution, redwoods have adapted in order to form their own preferred habitat.
  • The leaves of a redwood tree can absorb the moisture present in fog, as well as condense the fog into drops of water, and make it rain down to soak the soil surrounding the tree.
  • The leaves of redwoods further release terpenes that help in the condensation of the moisture present in the air and transform it into clouds that provide a cool temperature for the forest.
  • Redwoods also can transpire the moisture into the air again, which helps maintain the moist and cool environment around the forest during dry months.

Uses Of California Redwoods

California redwoods are pretty famous and many people vists redwood forests to experience these tall trees. Due to the various characteristics that are able to make them survive for so long, these trees are very useful to humans. Here are a few ways humans use redwoods.

  • The wood of a redwood tree is acquired through logging of the redwood forest and has many useful purposes.
  • The coast redwood tree is one timber species that is very valuable in the lumber industry because of its great durability.
  • The wood of a redwood tree is light weight and appears beautiful, which adds to the value of this wood along with its high resistance to decay.
  • The wood from a redwood tree is used for construction purposes.
  • In the past, there was a time when the building codes of San Francisco specified that only redwood lumber could be used while building the foundations of any new structure.
  • The wood from a redwood forest was popular because of its ability to withstand fire.
  • Redwoods also have a high resistance to insects, creating a high demand for this wood in the market.
  • The furniture made out of the wood from a redwood tree is highly durable and fire resistant.
  • The wood of a redwoods is also used for building fence posts, paneling, and shingles.
  • Early railroads built in California used the wood from redwoods to build the railroads.
  • The burl cut out from the trunk of a redwood tree is used to make veneer, bowls, turned articles, and trays.

<p>Shafaque has a Bachelor's degree in English language and Literature from Sophia Girls' College with a Master's degree in Library and Information Sciences from Shreemati Nasthibai Damodar Thackersey Women's College. She has a strong command of written and verbal English, along with proficiency in Hindi, French, Urdu, and Korean. With extensive knowledge of English literature and creative writing, Shafaque has completed numerous creative writing courses online and has previously worked as a content writer at Scripto.</p>

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