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Plant Facts

California Redwood

The Coast Redwood

The Coast Redwood is the world's tallest tree, is one of the three sequoia tree species, together with the giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) and the dawn redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides). The coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) grows in natural stands in a long, thin coastal area along the Pacific Ocean in the west and northwest of the US (mostly California). It is the tallest tree in the world.

the quickly growing tree has straight trunks and the quality of the wood is excellent, which resulted in heavy - and ongoing - loggings. The wood of Sequoia sempervirens has been and is extensively used in construction. About 96% of the original redwood forests have been logged and the deforestation is still continuing. Luckily most of the few remaining stands are preserved in the National and State Parks, which are probably essential for the long term preservation of this species.

The woods outside of the parks (with many trees more than a thousand years old) are still being "commercially managed".... This is a source of constant protests, such as the famous action of activist Julia Butterfly Hill. For over two years, she lived in the canopy of a coast redwood named "Luna" to keep the the old growth tree from being logged by the Pacific Lumber Company and to plead for sustainable forestry instead of clearcutting entire woods (which has devastating effects on the natural balance and causes extreme soil erosion). Eventually she succeeded: as a result of the massive press coverage (and the attention for the old growth forest clearcuttings it brought with it) "Luna" and some other redwoods were saved from the chain saw. What a remarkable woman!

Because of the dramatic atmosphere, these forests have been used as scenery in movies: the scenes with the Ewoks in the Star Wars movies were shot in these woods, just as were multiple parts of the Jurassic Park movies. For those last movies this choice is not very illogical: during the Cretaceous, the top period for North American dinosaurs, these woods could be found all over the continent.

Most of the groves are located in the coastal area of California. The largest populations are in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park (Del Norte County), Redwood National Park and Humboldt Redwoods State Park (Humboldt County).

The most visited grove is in Muir Woods National Monument, one of the last remaining wood. stands in the immediate San Francisco Bay Area.

The tallest tree in the world

Hyperion, the world's tallest living tree, is a coast redwood and is no less than 379.1 ft (115.55 m) tall!

This enormous tree was discovered only in August 2006 in a remote part of the Redwood National Park, California.

What is the largest tree in the world? When considering the question in terms of volume, it would have to be a Coast Redwood tree called Lost Monarch. Measurements reveal it is at least 26 feet or 7.9 meters in diameter. It stands 320 feet tall, or 98 meters. Lost Monarch is believed to hold an incredible 42,500 cubic feet or 1,200 cubic meters of wood.

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