Saturday, August 30, 2014

Redwood Trees True Giants

Redwood Trees : True Giants in the Earth. Giant trees discovered : the redwood trees of the earth! Let's celebrate the beauty of the majestic giant Redwood Trees!

redwood tree wall mural art poster
Redwood Trees, Humboldt Redwoods State Park, Wall Mural

In the mid of the 19th century the American writer Bayard Taylor undertook the adventure to travel to the Sierra Nevada, Calaveras County. Taylor had a fancy for trees of all kinds and he dedicated this pilgrimage to the last ancient giants on earth, which he compared with the pyramids of Gizeh in importance for the North American continent.

The incredible dimensions of these wooden towers is overwhelming. Historic photographs, for example by Amasa Plummer Flaglor, a pioneer photographer of the West, show ten people sitting next to each other in a row in the big incision cut at the base into the gigantic Redwood tree trunk before felling.

The first white man who discovered the Redwood Tree giants of the West was most probably Augustus T. Dowd, who worked for the Union Water Company as a hunter around 1850. He later founded Hutchins' California Magazine and began to write books about his travels. His contemporaries did not believe him when he reported about the giant trees he had seen on a hunting trip. Only by pretending to have shot the biggest grizzly bear ever he could persuade others to follow him into the woods. Welcome to giant trees discovered -- the redwood trees of the earth :: True Giants in the Earth!

Photo credit: Redwood Trees, Humboldt Redwoods State Park, Wall Mural.

The Endangered Giants of Our Earth -- Redwood Tree Forests

Sad enough, soon after the discovery of these wonderful redwood trees, the commercial exploitation started and nowadays there are only a few percent of the original growths of redwood forests left on earth.

The first great human act was to cut the “Discovery tree just to prove that men can do that ! Five men worked 22 days to screw holes into the trunk as they did have suitable saws. Even though the giants base was perforated it would not fall because of the weight of more than one thousand tons and the upright position of the trunk. Only with the help of a storm the giant tree came down. Later the age of the tree was examined: The tree had seen than 2500 before it was cut. The stump, that had served as dancing floor, can still be visited at Calaveras Big Tree State Park.

The fate of another wonderful Redwood tree called “The mother of the forest” (according to Wikipedia) was not much better. Quite justified the initiators of this business lost their money and went into bankruptcy. From then on the press took up the matter and the slaughter of the “Mother of the forests” caused a first insight that man had to preserve the treasures of nature. Also these ancient trees were perceived as a natural heritage of the American nation.

Finally John Muir (according to Wikipedia), the founder of the Sierra Club, entered the stage and the whole process got a new dynamic. Muir was the driving force to establish those great national parks Yosemite Valley and Sequoia National Park at the end of the 19th century.

The struggle to save the old trees has not come to an end yet. Still activists like Julia Butterfly Hill (according to Wikipedia) fight for the trees, sometimes even putting their own lives at risk.

Giant Redwood Tree

Young Sequioadendron giganteum, Maulbronn, Germany

Bayard Taylor published his encounter with the giant Redwood Trees in his travel book "At home and abroad" under the title "The big trees of Calaveras" (page 176 ff.):

"Suddenly in front of us,
where the gloom was deepest,
I saw a huge something behind the other trees,
like the magnified shadow of one of them,
thrown upon a dark red cloud …

Not trees, surely!

– but yes,
by all the dryads,
those are trees!.."

Photo: Young Sequioadendron giganteum, Maulbronn, Germany

The soft redish bark of Sequoiadendron giganteum feels great

Famous Giant Redwood Trees
Redwoods with record breaking dimensions!

The world’s tallest Redwood tree measures 378.1 feet in height as the news reported in 2006.

Other famous redwood trees are featured on Wikipedia as follows:

Redwood trees are well represented when it comes to record breaking dimensions of trees (according to Wikipedia). The tallest tree is a Redwood with almost 380 feet height, a redwood has position No.3 in terms of diameter with 29 feet, two redwood trees have the lead as to volume with well over 52000 and 42 000 cubic feet, and the third oldest tree is a Redwood with 3266 years of age.

Redwood Trees -- The Botanical Facts
Two different types of redwood trees.

In total three different tree species are commonly called Redwood.

1. Sequoiadendron giganteum – the Sierra Redwood on WIKI This species is part of the cupressaceae family. Have a close look at the leaves of the Sierra Redwood they look like small needles,which cover each other like roof tiles.

2. Sequoia sempervirens – the Coast Redwood on WIKI
This is the sole living species of the genus Sequoia in the cypress family (Cupressaceae). Coastal California and the southwest of Oregon within the United States are the natural biotop of these trees.
The leaves of this species look completely different from the Sequioadendron leaves. (Image on wikimedia)

3. Metaseqoia glyptostroboides – the Dawn Redwood on WIKI
This tree species cannot be confused with those two above. The look of the tree is completely different, also it grows under much different conditions. Coast Redwood, Sierra Redwood and Metasequoia form a subfamily Sequoioideae within the Cupressaceae.

Redwood Tree Link List
Some interesting stuff on redwood trees!
  1. Climbing the Redwoods - Richard Preston - Climbing the Redwoods* Richard Preston, A scientist explores a lost world over Northern California.
  2. Photo Tour: Redwood, Sequoia sempervirens - Institute for Redwood Ecology - Humboldt State University - A site with lots of great photographs of Redwood trees, Humboldt State University,Professor Stephen Sillett
  3. Dendro Images - Website with photographic archive for identification of tree species.Author Robert Underwood, Certified Arborist (IL 0024, 1986-2001).

Wow, what amazing trees with great stature … reminds me of David and Goliath! So, how about you? Are you equally fascinated by the gentle giants of the earth, our redwood trees? Do you have a fondness for redwood trees? Ah, why not tell us about it today! We thank YOU.

Start your very own Redwood Tree!

History: Redwood Trees : True Giants in the Earth was originally created on Squidoo on November 23, 2009. Highest lensrank ever achieved: #7,240 overall.

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