Where Are Coast Redwoods Found?
Coast redwood forests are very rare and grow naturally only in a narrow 450-milestrip along the Pacic Ocean from central California to southern Oregon. Morethan tall trees, a redwood forest is a complex set of
made up ofan astounding variety of living and once-living things.
How Old Are They?
Individual coast redwood trees can live for hundreds of years. In some areasof their range, they can live more than 2,000 years. The oldest known coastredwood tree was 2,200 years old.
How Do Redwoods Reproduce?
, which means they have cones and needle-likeleaves. A coast redwood cone is about 1 inch long and contains 14 to 24 tinyseeds about the size of a tomato seed. A single tree may produce millions ofseeds in a year. Only a small percentage of the seeds actually germinate andgrow into seedlings.Although coast redwoods can grow from seeds, they more commonly reproducefrom sprouts. New trees can sprout from the roots of parent trees, from budsat the base of a tree or from a fallen tree. If a tree is cut or burned, a circle oftrees may sprout from the stump, forming a “fairy ring” of new trees.
Where Have Redwood Fossils Been Found?
Redwood trees are true “living fossils.” As a
, redwoods have existedseemingly unchanged for millions of years. Redwood fossils older than 144million years have been found throughout the western United States andCanada and along the coasts of Europe and Asia. Close ancestors of thecoast redwood were living when dinosaurs roamed the Earth.Coast redwoods prefer mild year-round temperatures with winter rain andheavy fog, a
that was more common in earlier ages. The last iceage limited coast redwoods to their present range along the coast of northernCalifornia and southwestern Oregon.
How would it measure up to a coast redwood tree?The coast redwood
is theworld’s tallest tree
and among theoldest living things.
10-Story BuildingCoast RedwoodGiant SequoiaApple Tree
Mature coast redwood trees often reach more than320 feet tall and many of the tallest known treesare more than 360 feet high. Coast redwoods canreach these heights because they are very resistantto disease and insects. The wood has a high levelof tannic acid, which is toxic to most insects. Thesefascinating trees are named for the beautiful redcolor of their bark and heartwood.
P h o t o : P h i l S c h e r m e i s t e r