Categorized | Environment

The Everlasting Redwood

 

Majestic Cathedrals of Beauty and Grace

VIDEO by Finley-Holiday Films

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

They’re rare and they’re beautiful.

Coast redwoods grow only one place on Earth—right here on the Pacific Coast, from Big Sur to southern Oregon.  Earlier in the Earth’s history, redwoods had a much wider habitat, including western North America and along the coasts of Europe and Asia.  

The earliest redwoods showed up on Earth shortly after the dinosaurs– and before flowers, birds, spiders, and, of course, humans.  Redwoods have been around for about 240 million years, compared to about 200,000 years for “modern” humans.

Officially, the oldest living coast redwood is at least 2,200 years old but foresters believe some of our coast redwoods may be much older.  It can grow to 300 feet or more—making it the tallest tree on Earth.  

Right now, there are about 50 redwood trees taller than 360 feet living along the Pacific Coast.  Yet their root system is only 6 to 12 feet deep: redwoods create the strength to withstand powerful winds and floods by extending their roots more than 50 feet from the trunk and living in groves where their roots can
intertwine.  

While we have 2,000-year-old redwoods in our neighborhood, most of the redwoods we see are much, much younger– about 50-150 years old.  Since California’s Gold Rush in 1848, about 95% of the redwood forest– which once stretched across northern California– was logged.

The trees are crucial to maintaining a stable, human-friendly climate.  Studies show coast redwoods capture more carbon dioxide (CO2) from our cars, trucks and power plants than any other tree on Earth.  Keep in mind that as the climate changes, the redwood forests are one of the very few areas that can provide a refuge for plants and animals to survive, because the area has many microclimates, is cooled by coastal summertime fog, and is still largely unpaved.

Wild, endangered creatures like mountain lions, coho salmon and marbled murrelet rely on the local redwood forests.  They need large, contiguous areas of diverse habitat to survive, especially as the climate changes and needing to adapt quickly if necessary.  Mountain lions often travel hundreds of miles in a week; Coho salmon depend on unblocked, free-flowing streams to spawn; and the endangered marble murrelet, a sea bird, only nests in the tallest old-growth redwoods and old-growth Douglas fir trees.

Redwoods live so long and are treasured by humans for building because they are extremely resistant to insects, fire and rot.  At one time, San Francisco’s building codes required redwood lumber to be used in the foundations of new structures.  A redwood tree’s bark can be 1 foot thick, and containing tannin, protects the tree from fire, insects, fungus and diseases.

There is no known insect that can destroy a redwood tree.  Fire isn’t a big threat because the trunk is thick, there’s lots of water inside the tree, and the bark doesn’t have flammable resin like a pine tree does.

The familiar local redwood trees we see are officially called sequoia sempervirens, meaning “always green.”  There are two other types of sequoia trees still living and both are close relatives of our local coast redwood.

The “Giant Sequoia” (officially sequoiadendron giganteum) grows only in California’s Sierra Nevada range and is actually shorter but heftier than our coast redwood.  You can see them in places like Sequoia National Park and Kings Canyon National Park.  The “Dawn Redwood” (officially metasequoia glyptostroboides) grows only in a remote area of central China and is about one-third the height of our coast redwood.

So, when you take a stroll through the redwoods of Humboldt, remember these majestic cathedrals of nature. 

You are in a nursery of relatively young redwoods that will grow for 2,000 years, outliving you and your children, and hopefully seen by the generations of grandchildren to come.

* * * * * * * * *

Film credit:  ’National Ranger Talk’ by Finley-Holiday Films,
                           William Helmuth, and Susanna Ausema

Please share and follow us on Twitter and Facebook

One Response to “The Everlasting Redwood”

  1. Stephen Lewis says:

    Redwood trees are spiritually special trees too. They surpass the Cedars of Lebanon which looked fairly pathetic compared to our giants. Because I received my Vision of Christ Josephine here I do believe God and Goddess have these Grandfather and Grandmother trees to draw the people highly concerned for our planet well-being to our unique and special tree location.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks


Leave a Reply

HumSentinel on Twitter

RSS Progressive Review

  • People Republicans don't like
    Over the past few years, we have accumulated a list of groups of people that leading GOP figures have criticized.  Basically, if you're not a white male conservative, they don't like you. 9/11 responders AARP Americorps Bicyclists and bikes Black men Census Children with pre-existing health conditions College graduates College students Consumers Co […]
  • Furthermore. . .
    “The Nebraska Supreme Court has upheld the dismissal of a libel lawsuit filed over an email that referred to a Seward home inspector as a ‘total idiot.'”How to leak to the Intercept The University of Michigan Library, the University of Oxford's Bodleian Libraries and ProQuest have made public more than 25,000 manually transcribed texts from 1473-17 […]
  • Madison to fund $5 million in co-op development
    Portside - It started with a conversation.Kevin Gundlach, president of the South Central Federation of Labor in Madison, WI, had heard about Spain’s Mondragon cooperative complex and their union cooperatives in the U.S. He researched how labor could support cooperative development in this country. During his research, Gundlach read about the city of New York […]
  • More mysterious banker deaths
    Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge -  Following the deaths of 36 bankers last year, 2015 has got off to an inauspicious start with the reported suicide of Chris Van Eeghen - the 4th [Dutch] ABN Amro banker suicide in the last few years. As Quotenet reports, the death of Van Eghen  - the head of ABN's corporate finance and capital markets -"startled" fri […]
  • The sorry state of retirement
    Pensions & investments - More than half of all American households do not have enough put away for retirement, and the problem is getting worse, said new research from the Center for American Progress.Along with tracking what people are putting away for retirement, the researchers looked at dozens of studies by government, academic and private-sector org […]
  • The role of oil in foreign interventions
    Washington's Blog -The Independent reports that a new study conducted in the Universities of Portsmouth, Warwick and Essex, and published in the Journal of Conflict Resolution, finds that “hydrocarbons play an even bigger role in conflicts” than “conspiracy theorists” ever imagined.…foreign intervention in a civil war is 100 times more likely when the a […]
  • CIA regularly leaks stories to media, the diference was the Sterling's was true
    Global Research -  A former CIA employee, Jeffrey Sterling, was convicted of giving classified information to a New York Times reporter. The leak concerned an effort by the CIA to sabotage plans for an Iranian nuclear reactor.“The disclosures placed lives at risk,” said Attorney General Eric Holder. “And they constituted an egregious breach of the public tru […]
  • The rocket docket that convicted Jeffrey Sterling
    Norman Solomon, Huffington Post, Jan 15 -  When the trial of former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling got underway Tuesday in Northern Virginia [home of the CIA], prospective jurors made routine references to "three-letter agencies" and alphabet-soup categories of security clearances. In an area where vast partnerships between intelligence agencies and […]
  • Canada spying on millions of downoads
    Intercept - Canada’s leading surveillance agency is monitoring millions of Internet users’ downloading habits in a dragnet search to identify extremists, according to top-secret documents.The covert operation, revealed by CBC News in collaboration with The Intercept, taps into Internet cables and analyzes records of up to 15 million downloads daily from more […]
  • War on drugs links
    Drug news Marijuana news Statistics Pot quotes and facts The story the media won't touch Before the drug war Why do we have a drug war, anyway? The contras and cocaine The CIA: Perhaps our biggest drug dealer Groups Drug Policy Alliance National Drug Strategy Alliance NORML Students for a Sensible Drug Policy […]
  • Word
    I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve (or save) the world and a desire to enjoy (or savor) the world. This makes it hard to plan the day. - EB White […]
  • Backing off of hate
    From our overstocked archives Sam Smith, 2006 - When a situation such as the one created by the anti-Muslims cartoons and their reaction, the tendency for all parties is to seek ever higher ground of self-righteousness – all the time exacerbating the situation. The fact is that the biggest danger to the world at the moment comes from the conflicting certaint […]
  • Jazz break
     Nat King Cole & Johnny Mercer sing "Save the Bones for Henry Jones" […]
  • Furthemore. . .
     FCC: Blocking Wi-Fi in hotels is prohibited@Harpers  Number of homeless people in Tokyo for every 10,000 residents: 1 ... In New York City: 67 @ShaunKing  Police in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 2014 shot & killed more people than the United Kingdom, South Korea, Sweden, and Denmark combinedFourrth major pipeline explodes this month […]
  • Great thoughts of Prince Phillip
    Via the Independent On a 2002 visit to Australia, he asked a group of aborigines: “Do you still throw spears at each other?”Talking to a Scottish driving instructor: “How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to get them through the test?”To a British student in China: “If you stay here much longer, you’ll go home with slitty eyes.”On travellin […]