The Juxtaposition of Redwoods Wed, Jan 30, 2019
I'm coming out of Loop retirement for a day to talk about my love of Redwoods ✌️
I don't venture out into the wilderness nearly as often as some of our other SlideBelts teammates, but Redwoods have always left me awestruck. Redwoods are like the greatest remaining ancestors we have left as a link from modern day planet earth to the densely vegetated, dinosaur-roaming planet from millions of years ago.
While there are countless amazing Redwood facts (like how they grow more than 300 feet high, they've been around for about 240 million years, and the oldest known living Redwood is about 2,200 years old), it's actually the less awe-inspiring characteristics of Redwood trees that fascinate me the most.
Like how the Redwoods are the tallest trees in the word, but its leaves are soft and small and its pine cones are roughly the size of acorns. It's amazing to think that the mightiest giants of the forest have the most delicate hands and tiny seeds capable of reproducing such Herculean trees.
Or how, for being the world's tallest trees, their roots only go anywhere from 6-12 feet deep. Yet they can withstand disastrous winds and ruthless floods because they extend their branches far away (more than 50 feet) from their trunk and often grow in groves and forests where they can intertwine their roots with other Redwoods. Community is strong for Redwoods, and is integral to their long lifespans.
And, perhaps most importantly, how Redwoods capture more carbon dioxide from our vehicles and power plants than any other tree on earth. They're truly the defenders of our planet.
It wasn't long ago (relatively speaking) that 95% of California's Redwood population was logged to build much of San Francisco and San Jose. Redwood is an ideal building material because there is no known bug or insect that can damage it and it has one-foot thick bark that contains tannins, making it impervious to fire, disease, and fungus.
Redwoods, with all their majesty and hulking grace, represent a sort of convening of the gods, protecting the forest and the earth and giving shade and cover to humans and wildlife alike. Now, the next time you come toe to toe with one of these magnificent beings, you can stand in awe of more than just its breathtaking size.