Wildfire Worries for Ancient Trees

Photos of fire workers wrapping the ‘largest living tree on Earth’ in silver fire retardant foil got me thinking, and worrying, about the awe-inspiring trees we saw during our visit to the ‘Avenue of the Giants‘ in Humboldt Redwoods State Park in northern California, six years ago this month.

The old-growth coast redwood forest is a collage of life.

Humboldt Redwoods State Park Visitor Center

Seeing those massive trees in person is an amazing experience, kind of like witnessing the Grand Canyon through your own eyes. These ancient giants are so big that it’s nearly impossible to capture their full scope and scale in a single photograph. As a landscape nurseryman, it was especially interesting to see how close together they grow!

Historically, ocean moisture and fog have produced perfect conditions for these trees to thrive, but climate change is increasingly having adverse effects from droughts and wildfires. The KNP Fire is threatening to completely destroy California’s renowned Sequoia National Forest. What a tragedy that would be.

Coast Redwoods are remarkably resilient to fire, since they are one of the few conifers that have the ability to re-sprout from dormant buds along their trunks and branches. Unfortunately, giant Sequoias and Douglas firs don’t have that same ability to re-sprout from epicormic sprouts.

When we try to take out one thing, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.

John Muir

May the forest be with you!

T-shirt script Below an Image of These Giant Trees

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