Since I have an obvious passion for woodworking (and missing my parents lately), I thought we’d make the trek from HOT Alabama to the cooler climates of central California. There we’ll visit the mighty Sequoia Redwoods and learn a few things and just soak up their glorious splendor.
Besides their size and age, the Coastal Sequoia trees are unique in many fascinating ways.
1. How many gallons of water does a Sequoia tree transport up its 300 foot trunk each day?
Believe it or not, 500 gallons! With this much water being transported in a grove of Sequoia trees, you’d think it would sound more like a bathroom than a tranquil forest.
2. How long have redwoods been existence?
The best evidence suggests around 10 million years! Titans of the plant world they succeeded when the dinosaurs failed.
3. Aside from the current on-slaught by humans, what was the previous biggest threat to the redwood’s existence?
An ice age two million years ago. It covered most of North America and Europe driving redwoods from most of their former range. When the glaciers receded, many of the dozen or so related species of redwood had disappeared. Only the Coastal redwood found along the coast of Northern California, the Giant redwood of Central California, and the Dawn redwood found in remote areas of China survived this ice age.
4. What characteristics of the redwood attracted lumberjacks to cut them down?
Redwoods resist fire, rot, and insects. They insulate well and the wood is easy to mill and work. They are good at taking stain or paint, and they contain beautiful wood grains.
5. How old are the Coastal redwoods?
Adult trees can range from 500 to a maximum of 2000 years old!
6. Why do redwoods grow in groves rather than as individuals?
Redwoods have a shallow root system that spreads out for some distance but does not go very deep. With their incredible height, this opens them up to being blown down by strong winds. By growing in a grove the redwoods protect each other from the wind.
7. Why should you never walk close to the base of a redwood tree?
The shallow roots of a redwood are damaged by people walking on them. This is especially true now that tens of thousands of visitors travel to see them each year.