What Makes Redwoods Unique?
Redwoods are one of the most iconic trees in the world. The word “redwood” brings to mind towering trees with trunks the color of burnt sienna lining the Pacific Northwest. Known for being the largest trees in the world, it’s no wonder we conjure up images of majestic forests when we hear their name. But there’s more to these trees than their awe-inspiring height and color. Read on to find out more about what puts these coniferous trees in a league of their own!
Photo by Bruno Wolff
- One thing that sets redwoods apart is their longevity. They can live for thousands of years! The oldest redwood is Methuselah, named after the biblical figure, and is thought to be around 1,800 years old. It is located in Woodside, CA.
- Did you know redwoods can communicate with one another? Redwoods communicate via wavelengths that vibrate around 10 megahertz. It has been speculated that wavelengths can affect emotions, which might explain why humans can feel overwhelmed when in the presence of these giant forest-dwellers.
- It should come as no surprise that redwoods were thought to be sacred by many Native American tribes in the Pacific Northwest. Tribes such as the Yurok rely heavily on the trees but never cut them down. The trees are used for constructing houses and canoes only after a redwood has fallen.
- Because of their size, redwoods can host a whole ecosystem on just one branch! The foliage sustains the insects and animals that are housed by the trees.
- Redwoods thrive in the Pacific Northwest because the summer fog sustains them throughout the months when there is less rainfall. They also receive essential nutrients from the salmon that swim in nearby rivers.
- The genome of a coast redwood is nine times larger than that of a human’s. Mapping of their genome sequences began in order to preserve their genetic makeup and assist in their growth and reforestation.
- Despite their grandeur, redwood is one of the most common materials used by humans as a raw material. While redwood preservation is now supported with numerous state parks, preservation efforts started only after 90% of them had been decimated due to logging.
- The national parks that are home to redwoods in the Pacific Northwest are technically rainforests, which means they receive at least 55 inches of rain a year. This is in addition to the fog that provides moisture during the non-rainy seasons!
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