How old are muir woods trees

Trees and Shrubs - Muir Woods National Monument (U.S. National Park Service)

Old-growth redwood forest

National Park Service

What defines an old-growth redwood forest?

Large Live Trees

The large live trees of an old-growth forest not only stand testimony to the amount of time required to develop into old-growth but also largely determine the structure of the forest. The large trees in Muir Woods are the coastal redwoods, the tallest of all living things, and some scattered Douglas firs. The tallest coastal redwood at Muir Woods is about 258 feet, approximately the height of a six-foot person stacked head to toe 45 times. Further north, these trees can reach heights up to 379 feet, 74 feet taller than the Statue of Liberty. The average age of the coastal redwoods at Muir Woods is between 600 to 800 years, with the oldest being at least 1,200 years old. This is still young for redwoods as they can live up to 2,200 years. Being long-lived and large in size, they play a significant role in carbon, nutrient, and water cycling in the forest, helping to support an abundance of plant and animal life.

Multi-layered Structure

Besides being a collection of immense trees, Muir Woods is a rich community of other interesting plants. An old-growth forest commonly has three distinct layers:

  • Herbaceous
  • Understory
  • Canopy

To better understand this, think of an old-growth forest as a human home: the herbaceous layer is similar to the carpet, the understory like the furniture, and the leafy canopy similar to the roof. Each of these three layers support a different community of plants and each one is well adapted to its position in the forest.

Dead Trees

It was not long ago that the National Park Service used to remove all dead material from this forest to keep it clean and reduce fire threat. However, dead trees are vital for the forest and take many different forms. They can fall and become part of the forest floor and aquatic community or can remain standing, becoming what is known as a snag.

The trees that fall to the forest floor are important because they help keep the soil moist by soaking up rainwater as well as serving as a shelter for many of the insects, amphibians, and mammals in the forest. They continually replenish the soil by slowly releasing nutrients. One of the most important roles for these fallen trees is serving as a nursery for young seedlings. As the logs lie on the ground, leaves and cones accumulate on top, slowly decomposing, and turning into soil. Seeds fall into this fertile soil, growing into young seedlings.

Other trees fall into the creek, creating the habitat diversity necessary for a healthy stream by forming falls and pools. The downed logs help to capture debris, lessen impact of floods, and release nutrients.

The dead trees that remain standing, “snags,” are home to many insects, birds and mammals. Insects feed on these trees, which in turn give the pileated woodpeckers plenty of food to prey on. There are several species of bats that roost under the loose bark and hollows of snags. Hawks, owls and eagles use snags as a perching platforms. Even animals such as the bobcat find shelter in the larger cavities of a snag. Eventually, the tree will fall and assume a new role as a downed log.

The importance of a tree does not diminish after it has stopped living. It is a common saying here at Muir Woods that only half the life a tree is spent standing, while the other half is spent on the ground.

Interdependent Communities

All the different components of an old-growth forest are dependent on one another. The large live trees depend on the downed logs for water and much of their nutrients. Plants like redwood sorrel and California bay laurel rely on the multi-layered structure of the forest for protection and sunlight.

An old-growth forest is also itself very interconnected and through time, many of the plants and animals become reliant on one another. One example at Muir Woods is found in Redwood Creek. The redwoods depend on the creek for most of their water and the trees help keep the gravel in the creek clean by stabilizing the soil. The trees also help keep the temperature of the stream cool and constant. As the trees die and fall into the creek, they create pools and enrich the stream with their nutrients. Since salmon need clean gravel, constant water temperature, and pools for spawning, Redwood Creek provides good habitat for salmon. It is one of the last streams in California to still have its native stock of salmon, due largely to the undisturbed forest around us. An old-growth forest is more than just large trees, it is an interconnected and diverse community of plants and animals.

An old-growth forest is not only a product of a vast amount of time, it is also a result of several other factors, such as adaptation and luck. Even the most highly adapted forest could not withstand repeated disturbances. This makes old-growth very rare in the cycles of nature, but even rarer when humans are included in the picture. In the past, humans have only viewed old-growth forest in terms of economics. However, current research highlights many other important benefits of old-growth forests. These forests provide habitat for hundreds of birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, insects and plants. They minimize soil erosion, produce clean water and air and maintain high biological diversity, which is crucial for this planet. As the noted scientist Charles Darwin once observed:

"Among the scenes which are deeply impressed on my mind, none exceed in sublimity the primeval forests undefaced by the hand of one can stand in these solitudes unmoved, and not feel there is more in humans than the mere breath of his body."

777-year-old tree is a babe in Muir Woods

Emily Burns, the Director of Science with, Save the Redwoods League near a cluster of Redwoods at the Muir Woods National Monument, Calif. on Fri. May 29, 2015. The tree in the center was climbed by researchers, the first time even a tree was climbed in Muir Woods, where core samples were taken last year showed the tree being 777 years old. The trees are found in the Cathedral Grove area of Muir Woods.Michael Macor/The Chronicle

The tallest redwood tree in Muir Woods — a giant that was assumed to have sprouted up to 1,500 years ago in the Middle Ages — is a measly 777 years old, a puerile sprig in the hallowed halls of old growth, an analysis of tree-ring data has revealed.

The study, by a Humboldt State University scientist, is the first definitive determination of the age of trees in Muir Woods. The findings by Allyson Carroll, a tree-ring specialist, mean that a 249-foot-tall coast redwood known by the lackluster name of Tree 76 sprouted seven centuries later than originally believed, at the beginning of the Medieval Inquisition in the early 13th century.

The new birth date is curiously apropos since the tree is in a place called Cathedral Grove, presumably acceptable under the Inquisition, which was characterized by an effort by the Catholic Church to suppress heresy. The date nevertheless means the oldest and biggest tree that researchers could find in the Bay Area’s most famous redwood forest is a babe in the woods compared with the giant old-growth trees farther north.

A cross second taken from the "Vortex" tree which fell in June of 2011 shows the tree to be at least 693 years old, on display at the visitors center at the Muir Woods National Monument, Calif. on Fri. May 29, 2015.Michael Macor/The Chronicle

“It’s one of the largest redwoods in Muir Woods, so it probably represents one of the oldest,” said Emily Burns, science director for San Francisco’s Save the Redwoods League, which is documenting the age, size, health and tree-ring history of California's last remaining old-growth redwood groves as part a statewide project known as the Redwoods and Climate Change Initiative.

Carroll, a biologist at Humboldt State and a consultant for the League, came up with 777 years by comparing the tree rings from Tree 76 to a database of core samples taken from redwoods across California, including from Samuel P. Taylor State Park.

Specific dates can be fleshed out by comparing the size and thickness of the tree rings, which are larger during wet years and smaller during dry years.

The samples were taken in Cathedral Grove in March 2014. Although that was one of dozens of redwood study plots in California, the research represented the first significant scientific study of the tree canopy at Muir Woods.

The plan over time is to identify tree-ring patterns, or markers, that are consistent throughout the coast redwood range and figure out how the trees react to climate change. As of now, the collective redwood tree-ring record in California can reliably be traced back to the year 328, revealing drought years and other major weather events, Carroll said. Scientists must have data from multiple trees in different locations to compare traits, which is why the reliable record goes back only 1,687 years. However, individual trees have been found that are older.

A cluster of Redwoods at the Muir Woods National Monument, Calif. on Fri. May 29, 2015. The tree on the left was climbed by researchers, the first time even a tree was climbed in Muir Woods, where core samples were taken last year showed the tree being 777 years old. The trees are found in the Cathedral Grove area of Muir Woods.Michael Macor/The Chronicle

Growth accelerating

Dendrochronology, as tree-ring science is called, was used to document a coast redwood in Redwood National and State Parks, near Crescent City, that is 2,520 years old. The oldest giant sequoia, a redwood species that grows in the Sierra, is 3,240 years old, according to the record.

Scientists have found that the growth trend of redwoods has accelerated over the past few decades, and they have pinpointed 1580 and 1739 as particularly parched years in California. The tree-ring record has also been used in cultural history projects. Carroll all but confirmed that a wood remnant at Trinidad Head, north of Arcata, was part of a cross erected by the Spanish in 1775. The redwood altar at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco came from the Humboldt area, but there wasn’t enough information to pinpoint the age of the tree it came from or the date it was cut, she reported.

Dendrochronologists are now trying to determine the age of the old adobe found at the historic Presidio Officers' Club by dating its redwood support beams. The adobe, hidden for years under a covering of wood planks and plaster, is believed to be the last remnant of the original Spanish fort El Presidio de San Francisco, established in 1776.

Until now, nobody had ever definitively calculated the age of the trees in Muir Woods, but scientists have suggested that the tallest trees were probably 1,200 to 1,500 years old. Besides Tree 76, Carroll calculated the ages of two fallen redwoods in Muir Woods, further bolstering the tree ring record in the grove.

Catastrophe centuries ago

The Vortex Tree, which fell in 2011, was 693 years old, according to her report published in April. The Solstice Tree, which fell in 2012, was 536 years old, she concluded.

Burns said the relative youth of the three trees means the grove itself is probably younger than was believed. She suggested a fire, flood or some other catastrophe might have struck the area many centuries ago, forcing the entire forest to regenerate itself from scratch.

“We know redwoods can get older than this, and some redwoods in the Bay Area were logged. But we don't see any evidence of logging,” she said. “That leads me to believe that there may have been some sort of disturbance.”

Peter Fimrite is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. E-mail: [email protected] Twitter: @pfimrite

San Francisco Part 8 Muir Woods National Park


parks_gardens (posted by yarowind )
2012-12-09 19:50
San Francisco, Part 8, Muir Woods National Park
US Park

Muir Woods National Park is located 20 km north of San Francisco. The road goes through the famous Golden Gate Bridge, which is free to leave the city (but you have to pay for entry).

In general, the entrance to the park is paid - 7 dollars. We arrived at 8-30, there was no one else in the booth at the entrance to the park, so we went in for free. As they say, who gets up early…:)

The park occupies 226 hectares, on 97 of which there is a tree, for which everyone comes here - Coast Redwood, it is also Sequoia sempervirens, it is simply Sequoia. It should not be confused with Giant Sequoia, which in Russian goes like Sequoiadendron.

There are such wooden floorings along the park, it is highly recommended not to leave them, so as not to disturb the ecological state of the park.

Muir Woods is located in a gorge located along the coast of the Pacific Ocean no further than 2-3 km from it, which is due to the habitat of the sequoia.

The fact is that the root system is not able to raise enough water to a height of more than 100 m, so the leaves have adapted to take moisture from the air. And humid Pacific air is perfect for this. Gorges protect trees from strong winds.

The tallest tree in Muir Woods reaches 79 m. The average age of the trees is from 500 to 800 years, the oldest - 1200 years.

The high canopy of the sequoia leaves few chances for other trees that have to adapt to weak sunlight.

One hundred and fifty million years ago, these trees grew all over the continent. By the beginning of the 20th century, most of these forests had been cut down.

10. Millennial tree trunk

To save the remains of the trees, local businessman William Kent and his wife Elizabeth bought 247 hectares of land that had to be flooded during the construction of the dam. The hydrotechnical company sued him and then Kent found a way out - he donated 119 hectares of land to the federal government.

In 1908, Theodore Roosevelt declared the land a national monument. Under Kent's stipulation, the monument was named after the naturalist John Muir, who did much to establish the national park system.





Relic forest park, preserved for a long time. It is characterized by the presence of large living and dead trees, increased shading, several age levels of vegetation and several horizontal levels of vegetation.



It is highly recommended to come to the park early. And not to go for free, but then to walk through the forest until the tour buses arrive.

21. Due to the high height of the trees, lightning often hits them.






0062 28. Pay attention to the oxalis leaves in the shade and in the sun. Post A Comment | 14 Comments | share | flag | Link

2012-12-09 17:22 (UTC)
(no subject)
Waveform 8 delay 5

*** The fact is that the root system is not able to raise enough water to a height of more than 100 m, so the leaves have adapted to take moisture from the air ***

You have information from some outdated sources. Actually:

1. The root system has nothing to do with the maximum height to which water can rise along the trunk. As it was established 20 years ago, the rise of water in the xylem of trees occurs due to passive transport through capillaries - i.e. Roots don't push water.

2. This passive transport has a physical limitation that matches the height of Sequoia sempervirens.

3. As far as I remember, redwood needles simply condense fog into water, which falls from the crown onto the soil, where it is picked up by roots. And not from the fog directly to the leaves (although both processes may play a role here - I'm not 100% sure).

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2012-12-09 19:34 (UTC)
(no subject)
tree of life

Dear accomplices, let's not reinvent the wheel. Unless you are a plant physiologist, it seems to me that it is better not to invent new theories for them and not to correct existing ones.
Of course, you can correct each other if the information you provide is unambiguously accurate and correct.

The upward flow of water in sequoia occurs according to the same laws as in other higher plants.

Passive transport involves diffusion along a concentration gradient. This is from another opera.

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2012-12-09 21:52 (UTC)
(no subject)
Waveform 8 delay 5

I took an introductory plant biology course in college where, among other things, we reviewed an article from a peer-reviewed journal that described passive transport and specifically stated that the maximum possible height of a tree is determined purely by the size of the trunk's capillaries. I can find a scan of this article in the garage and post it here. The same article said that clarity in this sense has come recently - in the last 20 years.

Further, about the fact that sequoia needles condense fog and cause a kind of micro-rain, from which the sequoia takes water in the summer - this is from the story of a Muir Woods employee, whom I have repeatedly visited.

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2012-12-10 18:51 (UTC)
(no subject)
tree of life

It must be said that I have absolutely no intention of continuing the discussion. This takes time, which is always in short supply. Yes, and our community in LiveJournal, in fact, has other goals. However, I cannot but write that in the course of classical botany it is indicated that the life of any terrestrial plant consists in a constant flow of water through the body. This flow of water is primarily due to transpiration (evaporation) of water by leaves or other organs that have stomata. All other processes, including the capillary rise of water, are secondary. None of them by itself will provide the rise of water to such a height. It is as a result of transpiration that the increased absorption of water by the plant occurs. Let me stick to the fundamental knowledge gained at the university.

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2012-12-10 19:09 (UTC)
(no subject)
Waveform 8 delay 5

I will try to upload a scan of the article to you in ~12 hours

Actually, the meaning of this article by students was exactly to show "look, sometimes even the most fundamental knowledge is being revised even in recent decades"

Edited at 2012-12-10 07:17 pm (UTC)

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2012-12-10 19:32 (UTC)
(no subject)
tree of life

The publication of an article in a peer-reviewed journal does not mean at all that all fundamental knowledge collapsed immediately.

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2012-12-18 14:07 (UTC)
(no subject)

Your theory also collapsed when one smart guy thought to saw through half of the trunk, and a little higher - the OTHER half. That. not a single whole capillary was left in the tree. BUT the water continued to flow.

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2012-12-18 17:04 (UTC)
(no subject)
Waveform 8 delay 5

I don't quite understand what you mean. The individual capillary does not have to extend the full height of the tree,articleId-8675.html

The tracheids and vessels form pipelines that have pores and perforated ends, which allow water and minerals to be conducted from one tube to the next and out to the surrounding tissues Reply | parent | thread | Link

2012-12-18 17:45 (UTC)
(no subject)

If you find it, send me a link too, please, I'm interested.

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2012-12-10 09:17 (UTC)
(no subject)

I am not a plant physiologist, so I will not interfere in your initial dispute, but I am grateful to everyone for the additions!

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2012-12-10 10:27 (UTC)
(no subject)

thank you! very beautiful.

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2012-12-10 11:27 (UTC)
(no subject)

Thank you!

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2012-12-18 14:08 (UTC)
(no subject)

Great story, thank you very much.

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2012-12-19 06:13 (UTC)
(no subject)

Glad you liked it!

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Why are giant sequoias so big? Sequoia - the largest tree in the world The largest sequoia.

Sequoia is the tallest tree in the world. This is a real giant that grows all its life in height and width. It is sometimes called the mammoth tree. The message will tell you in detail about the plant.

A bit of history

Scientists have established that sequoia grew on Earth more than 100 million years ago! This is evidenced by the found fossils with the remains of the bark. So it's the tree is the same age as dinosaurs, it was able to survive the ice age!

The Spaniards were the first to see giant trees in the middle of the 18th century during an expedition in the area of ​​modern San Francisco, a city on the west coast of the United States. They were struck by a giant tree, they called it "mammoth".

Austrian botanist S. Endlicher named the tree "sequoia" in honor of the leader of the Cherokee Indian tribe, whose name was George Gest Sequoia.

Under the protection of the giants took in America in 1890 year.

This huge tree is the symbol of California, the US state on the Pacific coast.


Sequoia is an evergreen coniferous tree from the cypress family. Grows in height to 90 meters (35-storey building) and above, and in width (measured as the diameter of the log house at the base) up to 7 meters, weighs more than 1000 tons. To transport one such felled tree, you need a train of 60 wagons. Giants live 2-2.5 thousand years and longer.

The trunk is straight and even, rising like a giant column. The crown has the shape of a wide cone, the branches grow horizontally to the ground or with a slight downward slope. The bark of the color of red rust (for this sequoia is sometimes called mahogany) is very thick - up to 30 cm, but light, fibrous, porous, so it absorbs moisture well. The needles grow in bunches, have a length of up to 2.5-3 cm, the colors can be different - dark green, with a blue or silver tint. Cones are smallish, up to 3 cm long, oval. Sequoia - monoecious plant, this means that male and female cones grow on the same tree.

Sequoia does not tolerate cold only, at -20°C it can die, although it once survived the ice age ...

Where it grows

Scientists say that many millions of years ago gigantic sequoias grew throughout the northern hemisphere of the Earth.

Today, these giants naturally grow in a narrow strip 720 km long along the coast of the Pacific Ocean in North America, California.

The conditions here are ideal for them - high humidity, frequent fogs and lack of sweltering heat. Interestingly, sequoia never moves far from the coast, further than 70 km from the coast it is no longer to be found.

This tree is artificially grown in Canada, Mexico, Great Britain, Portugal, Italy, South Africa, New Zealand. The oldest sequoia in Europe grows in the Nikitsky Botanical Garden in Crimea, which is almost 170 years old.

Sequoia can also be found in the Caucasus, in the south of Central Asia, in the Transcarpathian regions. Four sequoias grow in China, in the province of Sichuan.

But wherever this tree is artificially planted, it does not grow to such a huge size as in its natural homeland in North America.

How it reproduces

Sequoia reproduces:

  • vegetatively - shoots from old stumps;
  • seeds.

Sequoia seeds are very light and very small - no more than 3 mm in length and only 0.5 mm in width. It's amazing how such a huge tree grows from such a tiny seed.

Seeds are in cones, which are very similar to ordinary pine. One cone contains 150-200 seeds. They are pollinated by the wind at the end of winter, after 8 months they ripen, then the cone opens and the seeds fall out.


Sequoia used in construction houses, telegraph poles, sleepers, furniture are made from its wood. It has no smell, so they make containers for tobacco, expensive cigars, barrels for honey from it. Since sequoia wood does not rot at all, it is used in the construction of underwater structures, ships.

This gigantic, gigantic tree is planted in parks and gardens.

An interesting use was found for some sequoias in America: trees were cut down and built on its huge stumps:

  • on one - a cafe,
  • on the other - dance floor,
  • on the third - printing house.

There is no tree on the planet higher than the sequoia, which was given the name "Hyperion". It has grown to a height of 115 meters (this is higher than a 45-storey building), it grows in the USA, in the Redwood National Park near the city of San Francisco.

The widest tree on earth is again a sequoia! She was called "General Sherman".

It grew “only” by 83 meters in height (higher than a 33-storey building), but its diameter is impressive - at the base it is 11 meters, in girth - almost 32 meters, 15 people cannot hug it!

If this message was useful to you, I would be glad to see you

Sequoia (lat. Sequoia) is one of the largest and most ancient trees on Earth. These woody plants of the Cypress family can grow up to 76 meters (25-story building), and individual specimens of the sequoia reach a height of more than 110 m. The maximum age is more than three and a half thousand years. Their diameter at the level of the human chest is 9meters.

Giant sequoias are one of the subspecies of cypress. The sight of these huge trees, whose trunks and crowns go up tens of meters, involuntarily arouses admiration...

meters, but there are also whole groves with a height of more than 90 meters. To date, about fifty sequoias are known, whose height exceeds the 105-meter mark

The tallest known tree on our planet is the Hyperion sequoia, which grows in Redwood National Park near San Francisco. The height of this giant is 115.5 meters. The most voluminous sequoia in the world belongs precisely to this subspecies, it is the 83.8-meter "General Sherman", the base diameter of which is 11.1 meters, and the trunk coverage is 31. 3 meters. The volume of the tree is 1487 cubic meters

The wood of these trees is inedible for forest pests, and the very thick bark (up to 30 cm in some places) is a thermal shield and protects the tree from fire during fires. This explains such a long life of sequoia.

Sequoia is also very resistant to damp rot. It is not uncommon when, when drilling wells in the bosom of streams, a sequoia trunk undamaged by moisture and time was found, which had lain there for more than one thousand years.

Sequoia grows extremely fast, here are a couple of telling examples: one tree reached a diameter of 2.1 meters in 108 years, and the yield of secondary forest per hectare per year was almost 30 cubic meters of wood.

There is a tunnel through a fallen redwood tree in California's Sequoia National Park of the same name

It is usually difficult to imagine the real scale from a photograph, so several pictures of people are present to make it easier to compare the sizes

Interesting Sequoia Facts:

Trees over 60 m high are very common, many over 90 m. Redwood National Park north of San Francisco. The height of the tree is 115.5 meters (379.1 ft.). The researchers said that the woodpecker's damage to the tree at the top prevented the sequoia from reaching a height of 115.8 meters (380 feet).

The previous highest growing tree was the Stratospheric Giant in California's Humboldt Redwoods. The tree was 112.34 m in August 2000, previously 112.56 m in 2002, and as of 2010 is 113.11 m (371.1 ft).

Before Hyperion, the tallest tree of all time was the Dyerville Giant, also in Humboldt Redwoods Park. Height was measured after his fall on March 1991 and was equal to 113.4 meters. The age is estimated to be about 1600 years.

15 currently growing trees have a height of more than 110 m, and 47 trees have a height of more than 105 m.

Some argue that the height of the sequoia cut down in 1912 was 115.8 m. The tallest living pseudo-hemzies of Menzies, "Doerner Fir" (formerly known as "Brummit fir"), is 99.4 m tall,

In 2004, the journal Nature wrote that the maximum theoretical height of a sequoia (or any other tree) is limited to 122 -130 meters due to gravity and friction between the water and the pores of the wood through which it oozes.

The most voluminous tree among redwoods is "Del Norte Titan" (English) Russian. of all trees growing on Earth, only 15 giant sequoias (sequoiadendrons) are more massive than it. Sequoiadendrons (English: sequoia) are somewhat shorter, but they have a thicker trunk than redwoods (English: red woods). So, the volume of the largest copy of the dendron sequoia "General Sherman" is 1487 m³.

The history of the name of the sequoia tree is quite interesting. This large tree was first called the California pine or mammoth tree, as the ends of the branches bent up, resembled the fangs of mammoths. In 1859Swedish botanist Linnaeus decided to name this huge tree in honor of the English commander Wellington. The new name "Wellingtonia Huge" did not exist for long. The Americans decided that such a significant plant should bear the name of their national hero - George Washington. After that, the tree was called "huge Washington".

Disputes over how best to name this tree did not subside. After some time, it nevertheless got its name - Sequoia, in honor of the leader of one of the Indian tribes - Sequoia, it was he who led the liberation struggle against foreign invaders for many years. Some people still call this tree "mammoth".

Scientific classification:

Division: coniferous

Grade: coniferous

Order: Sosnovy

Family: Cypress

Subvenue: Sequoioideae

genus (Latin Sequoia)

Eternal sequoia. It does not rot for a long time and withstands transverse loads, as a result of which it is suitable for a variety of purposes, including sawing. The wood of the giant sequoia is lighter and more fragile, therefore it is not used as lumber.

This wood is quite easy to process, but due to its softness and possible splitting during drilling and shaping, as well as planing and profiling, work must be done with great care.

Due to the excellent wood and the fast growth of the tree, sequoia is specially grown in forestry. Light and dense, it is not subject to rotting and insect attacks. Sequoia wood is widely used for both building and joinery material. This wood is used to make furniture, sleepers, telegraph poles, railway cars, paper and roof tiles. The absence of smell makes it possible to use it in the tobacco and food industries. It is used to produce boxes and boxes for cigars and tobacco, barrels for storing honey and molasses.

Recently, the construction of houses from sequoia timber is gaining momentum, which is ideal for any wooden buildings. This building will appeal to connoisseurs of comfort and convenience. Houses made of sequoia timber are characterized by high environmental safety, aesthetic appeal and a well-thought-out multifunctional layout.

A huge plus of this material is the presence of oils in it, which protect the wood from decay. Products from the California sequoia will decorate any room, as it is most popular in the manufacture of furniture.

Because of these qualities, sequoia wood is an ideal material for roof shingles and building exteriors. It is also used for the manufacture of racks and profile products for interior decoration. The wood is used for the production of plywood and decorative veneer. Fibrous plates and filter materials are made from thick bark.

Sequoia application

Scientific classification
Realm: Plants
Super department: Gymnosperms
Department: Conifers
Grade: Conifers
Order: Pine
Family: Cypress
Subfamily: Sequoioideae
Latin name
Sequoia Endl. (1847 ) , nom. cons.

Sequoia evergreen

Sequoia sempervirens (D. Don ) Endl.

Biostability and durability make sequoia wood an ideal material for making wood pipes, gutters and trays, tanks, vats, roofing shingles, and exterior cladding. It is also used on coffins, racks and profile products for interior decoration. The wood is used in the production of plywood. The thick bark serves as raw material for fiber boards and filter media.

Easy to work, but because of the softness and possible splitting when drilling, chiselling and shaping, as well as when planing and profiling, care is required. To reduce the crumpling of the fibers, it is necessary to sharpen the cutting edges and remove waste in a timely manner.

Sequoia varieties

  • Sequoia architectural varieties are used where the appearance must remain consistent with the design requirements long after the commissioning of the object. This quality wood can be supplied both dry and without drying. Unsurpassed in beauty and durability, it is the best choice for precision and tight assembly of intricate or rigorous design projects.
  • Pure Sound (Clear All Heart) - The best variety. Can be kiln dried, air dried or not dried. Careful observance of geometry, no defects on the front side.
  • Pure (Clear) - Similar in quality to Clear Heartwood, but may contain some sapwood. Ideal for visible parts of ground structures.
  • Sound B (Heart B) - Contains a limited number of knots and other defects not allowed in higher grades. Used in the same way as Pure Sound.
  • Grade B (B Grade) - Similar in characteristics to Sound B, but may contain sapwood. It is used similarly to Clean - for decking, garden structures and other ground structures.
  • Construction/Deck Sound (Construction Heart / Deck Heart) - All heart varieties contain knots. They are recommended for use near the surface of the earth, as supports, beams and decks.
  • Construction/Deck Conventional (Construction Common / Deck Common) - Contains knots and a mixture of heartwood and sapwood. Recommended for above ground structures such as fences, benches or porches.
  • Trading Sound (Merchantable Heart) - The cheapest of the pure heart grades, tolerates somewhat larger and worse knots than construction grades, as well as hairline cracks, small end cracks and a number of manufacturing defects.
  • Trade (Merchantable) - Same stats as Merchant Sound, but may contain sapwood. Suitable for fences, gratings and other non-ground contact applications.
  • Sequoia garden varieties are best suited for outdoor use. Their variable texture and knot pattern allow them to be successfully combined with other natural materials. Orchard grades can be supplied dried or not dried and are usually cut lumber, from 6 meters long to short cuts used for borders and parapets.

Useful tables

List of the largest Giant Sequoias by timber volume.
Tree name Location Height Diameter (m) Circumference (m)
General Sherman Giant Forest Grove 84. 0 m 11.1 32.3
General Grant General Grant Grove 82.1 m 11.4 33.8
President Giant Forest Grove 74.2 m 10 29.3
Lincoln Giant Forest Grove 79.1 m 10.5 31.3
Stagg Alder Creek Grove 73.9 m 11.6 34.2
Bull Talking Pool Grove 82.0 m 12.00 35.6
Genesis Mountain Lodge Grove 78.1 m 9.3 27.2
Franklin Giant Forest Grove 69.3 m 10.2 29.4
King Arthur Garfield Grove 82.9 m 11.1 32. 8
James Monroe Giant Forest Grove 76.4 m 9.9 29
Robert Lee General Grant Grove 77.5 m 9.6 27.8
John Adams Giant Forest Grove 77.3 m 9.1 26.4
Giant Ishi Kennedy Grove 74.9 m 11.2 33.1
Column Giant Forest Grove 75.8 m 10 29.3
Road up Mountain Lodge Grove 75.3 m 9 26.1
Euclid Mountain Lodge Grove 84.2 m 9.1 26.4
Washington Maripos Grove 72.8 m 10.3 29.9
General Pershing Giant Forest Grove 74. 9 m 9.8 28.8
Diamond Aithwell Mill Grove 88.3 m 10.2 30.1
Edem Mountain Lodge Grove 76.3 m 10.1 29.7
Roosevelt Redwood Mountain Grove 78.9 m 8.8 25.5
J. Nelder Nelder's Grove 82.2 m 9.7 28.3
"AD" (AD) Aithwell Mill Grove 74.5 m 10.6 31.2
Michael Heart Redwood Mountain Grove 85.2 m 8.3 23.9
Giant Grizzly Maripos Grove 64.8 m 10 29.2
Main Sequoia Giant Forest Grove 68.9 m 9.8 28. 6
Mathewsla Mountain Lodge Grove 64.5 m 10.3 30.2
Great goshawk Freeman Creek Grove 88.7 m 9.7 28.5
Hamilton Giant Forest Grove 73.8 m 9 26.2
Dean Aithwell Mill Grove 82.8 m 10.4 31
Beautiful Black Mountain Blackrock Grove 79.9 m 8.4 24.2
Giant Saddle Saddle Grove 67.5 m 11.3 33.4
Allen Russell Mountain Lodge Grove 78.2 m 8.8 25.4
Cleveland Giant Forest Grove 77.6 m 8.8 25.4
Dalton Muir Grove 84. 8 m 8.4 24.2
Louis Agassiz State. Calaveras Park 80.1 m 10.5 30.9
Nir Ed Giant Forest Grove 78.4 m 8.7 25.2
Evans Kennedy Grove 71.3 m 8.5 24.6
Three Jacks Mountain Lodge Grove 74.3 m 9 26.1
Patriarch McIntyre Grove 84.1 m 8 23.1
Red Chef Long Meadow Grove 75.6 m 8.8 25.6
Guardian Giant Forest Grove 79.4 m 8.7 25.1
Bull Buck Nelder's Grove 74.9 m 10.6 31.2
Next to Bezvolny McIntyre Grove 77. 7 m 8.3 24
Willless Goliath McIntyre Grove 84.9 m 7.6 21.7
Candelabra Saddle Grove 69.5 m 8.1 23.3
Bannister Freeman Creek Grove 61.3 m 11 32.5
Ghost Saddle Grove 59.3 m 10.2 30
  1. Application
  2. Wood characteristics
  3. Grades used

Sequoias occupy a special place in the cypress family, including several genera of truly unique trees, the only representatives of which are Sequoia sempervirens - evergreen or red sequoia (Redwood) and Sequoiadendron - giant sequoiadendron.

Giant pines , as sequoias are also called, in ancient times they were distributed throughout the Northern Hemisphere, today in our country several specimens of trees are planted in the parks of the Black Sea coast, they are also grown in greenhouses or botanical gardens. But the only place where their natural habitat has been preserved is a relatively small area of ​​the Pacific coast of North America: Redwood National Park and Muir Forest Reserve in California, approximately 800 km long and about 80 km wide, a small part of eastern Texas and Maryland, eastern coast of Canada.

Species description

There has been a lot of controversy about the origin of the name "sequoia" given to it by the Austrian biologist Stefan Endliger. Opinions were expressed that this is an empty set of sounds, a designation of the sequential order of the arrangement of seeds in cones, and, finally, the name of the famous leader of the Cherokee tribe. The latter option is considered the most likely.

These trees prefer a humid maritime climate, due to their concentration on the ocean. They are not called giants for nothing - the height of the sequoia is rarely below 60 m, but more often there are higher specimens - up to 100–115 m. The width of the trunks corresponds to gigantic sizes - the giants reach 18 m in diameter, and 6-meter trees are quite an average scale for a sequoia. At the same time, certain species differences are traced: the giant sequoiadendron is lower - about 70–90 m, but it has a thicker trunk, reaching up to 37 m in girth, while the "thin-barreled" 6-meter evergreen sequoia, or redwood, grows up to 100 m and above . The weight of one plant exceeds 1000 kg. People against the background of these heroic trees look like midgets.

Genus Metasequoia glyptostroboides - glyptostroboid metasequoia growing in China, evergreen coniferous tree. Also included in the subfamily, however, it does not have a cyclopean size, being a rather medium-sized tree belonging to an endangered species.

The size of plants is impressive, their age is striking: to rise to the height of a skyscraper and grow as thick as a house, giant pine trees sometimes need more than 1000 years. Some unique ones live even longer - up to 2000 and 3500 years. But this is not the limit: there is information about trees 6000 years old. Scientists use the layers of wood of these relics to determine the weather conditions - the amount of precipitation, the ambient air temperature on the ground - that were hundreds of years ago.

"General Sherman", "Hyperion", "Stratospheric giant" and other, the most famous specimens of sequoia, are a kind of natural monuments, which attract thousands of tourists to the US California national parks to admire. Driving along the highway, laid through the groves of giants, can be considered a real journey through the fabulous world of grandiose giants. On the way there are tunnels for cars, punched in fallen trees, huge stumps, on the surface of which it is possible to place a whole parking lot, arrange a dance floor or an open-air cafe.

Sequoias are monoecious trees, mostly straight-stemmed. Their bark is extremely thick and soft, from 30 to 80 cm wide, peels off quite easily. In young plants, it has a bright red color, for which they are often called american redwood. In old-timers, the shade of the bark becomes dark. Loose, like a sponge, it is able to accumulate a lot of moisture necessary for growth, serves as a protection for the trunk from adverse external conditions and even forest fires. The root system is widely branched, located relatively shallow. Sequoia branches grow horizontally in relation to the trunk, in sequoias they often hang down like mammoth tusks, for which they are nicknamed mammoth trees. The crowns are very dense, pyramidal in shape, the needles are 10 to 20 mm long, scaly, flat. Cones are rounded, 3-3.5 cm in size, consist of spirally twisted scales. Sequoia seeds are small - up to 3-4 mm, ripen in October, in one cone they are found from 3 to 7 pieces.

Pests do not damage giant pines - like all conifers, sequoias contain many phytoncides that are harmful to insects and pathogens.

An important property of trees is the ability to quickly recover from mechanical damage - even the removal of the bark does not become an obstacle to further growth, and new young shoots quickly grow in place of completely felled specimens.

Sequoias are relatively frost-resistant, capable of withstanding cold down to -20°C, which makes it possible to plant them in the southern and temperate regions of Russia. It propagates not only by seeds, but also by cuttings, as well as grafting, it allows you to breed new ones, including decorative varieties of various sizes, shapes and colors, perfect for landscape gardening.

Wood Characteristics

Evergreen Sequoia and Giant Sequoia are recognized as one of the best conifers in the world. It is similar in quality to spruce, but with greater resistance to fungal attack.

Red California tree, as the sequoia is called, has earned considerable popularity. It grows 10 times faster than birch, and the mass of one log can reach 2500 kg. Sequoia belongs to the soft types of wood. The sapwood is thin, light creamy, looser than the central part. Heartwood is of great value, it is light cherry, carmine or light brown in color with uniform core rays and vertical rows of resin cells. It has a pronounced contrasting pattern formed by darker growth rings. Younger layers are less dense than older ones. Lumber fibers are straight, there are almost no graininess.

In the process of pre-treatment, freshly cut material practically does not crack or warp, shrinkage due to the absence of internal stress in sequoia is negligible, despite the high natural humidity. Dry wood has density approx. 450 kg/cu.m. m, durable, well resists compression and twisting, fairly light, resistant to mold, insect damage, rotting. Its service life is more than 40 years, in contact with the soil - about 25.

Grades used

The best grade is the so-called pure heartwood without knots and other flaws, equal density, flawless texture and regular geometric pattern. It is dried in natural conditions, not exposed to high temperatures. Such material is used exclusively for the production of products and top-class finishes.

Less high-quality, but rather practical and durable types of wood are considered: simply pure and sound B. They are able to undergo pre-drying in kilns, include a small amount of sapwood, have knots and other defects in their composition. These types are used for the manufacture of various outdoor structures, supporting structures, flooring of terraces, installation of fences.

In addition, less valuable varieties have their own gradation:

  • construction (deck) sound - includes fragments with a large number of knots, designed for beams, flooring, installation of supports;
  • building ordinary - is a mixture of sapwood and heartwood, used for various ground structures: arbors, verandas, flooring, fences;
  • commercial sound - a kind of pure, but cheaper wood, the composition includes various defects: cracks, knots, defects in processing. It is used for outdoor work, where decorative qualities are not important, but high strength and resistance to adverse factors are required;
  • trade - the lowest grade, assuming the presence of sapwood, is used only for outdoor work: building fences, formwork of supporting walls.

Sequoia easily lends itself to any type of processing: sawing, turning, cutting with mechanical and hand tools. Holds screws, nails and staples well, etched with stains, sanded and polished, glued and painted.


High performance and beautiful appearance allow this wood to be used anywhere: for exterior and interior work, in construction, furniture, turning industry, for the manufacture of facing and decorating skins. At home, poles and sleepers, various retaining parts, street benches, stairs, trim panels, window frames, jambs, doors, interior lining of trailers, wagons, yacht cabins, wooden tiles, and paper are made from it.

Sequoia is odorless, so it can come into contact with food, and is also excellent for making cigar cases and boxes, honey barrels, spice boxes.

Redwood fire barriers and exits have historically been made due to the wood's high resistance to fire.

SEquoia - evergreen coniferous pine (monoecious gymnosperms) tree, Cypress family, subfamily - Sequoias, genus - Sequoia.

The name of the genus was given in honor of Sequoia (George Hess) ( Sequoyah , ca. 1770 - c. 1843) - Indian tribal leader Cherokee , inventor of the Cherokee syllabary (1826), founder of the Cherokee newspaper .

Currently genus Sequoia is represented by two types:

1. Evergreen Sequoia (lat. Sequoia sempervirens ), or Red Sequoia , also - Mahogany.

2. giant sequoia , or Giant Sequoia (lat. Sequoiadendron giganteum ), or Mammoth Tree , also - Wellingtonia.

Both of these species are relict, preserved WITHOUT CHANGES from ancient times and were once distributed around the globe.

Fossil evidence suggests that these giant trees existed as early as Jurassic, between 208 and 144 million years ago, and then occupied vast territories. Now they grow in small regions along the western edge of the North American continent.

Formerly existing and other related sequoia species but all of them are completely gone from the physical plane of the Earth, and at present they are known only from fossilized fossils.

Brief description of two species of the genus Sequoia that have survived to the present day.

Native to California and Washington in the US and southern Canadian province British Columbia along the Pacific coast on a strip with a length of about 750 km and a width of 8 to 75 km. Average heights - 30-750 m above sea level , sometimes trees grow near the shore, sometimes they climb to a height of up to 920 m. Sequoia loves humidity that the sea air brings with it. It has a high ability to absorb moisture from the air. The tallest and oldest trees grow in gorges and deep ravines , where currents of moist air can reach all year round and where fogs regularly occur . Trees growing above the fog layer (above 700 m) grow shorter and smaller due to drier, windier and cooler growing conditions.

A height of 90 meters or more for Evergreen Sequoia is common, there are also trees with a height of 110-113 m. friction juices from the roots will still not be able to rise higher). The thickness of the trunks at the base often reaches 6-7 m or more.

These are by far the tallest trees on Earth and the longest-lived, along with the giant sequoia. Maturity Evergreen Sequoia occurs at 400-500 years, and specimens over 1500 years old are not uncommon (the oldest known is ca. 2200 years old ).

The size of these forests is now greatly reduced as a result of active exploitation. Apparently, initially the trees covered an area of ​​6131 sq. km, but at present there are much fewer of them, and their felling is prohibited in only two protected areas.

The trunk of the evergreen sequoia is enclosed in a thick, fibrous, low combustible bark . Young trees branch along their entire length, but with age, the lower branches fall off and a closed canopy forms at the top. It practically does not transmit light to the ground, as a result, the undergrowth is rather poorly developed, since only ferns and other shade-loving plants can grow here, along with rare young sequoias. . An adult tree produces many seeds, but only a small part of them germinate successfully, and those that germinate are forced to fight with low light. Under natural conditions, such a slow reproduction would be quite sufficient because trees can live 3000 years , but with more active exploitation of the forest, young trees do not appear fast enough to compensate for felling.

Evergreen sequoia is resistant to fire, fungus and other diseases, it is not eaten by bugs and other insects, the wood is very beautiful and resistant to decay, is in demand and expensive, therefore these trees in many unprotected areas are cut down by commercial companies.

As a result of artificial landings of the 19th and 20th centuries. , there are small groves of Sequoia evergreen (Mahogany) and its single specimens in Europe and Asia, usually in special botanical gardens and arboretums (Belgium, Crimea, Transcaucasia).

Currently Evergreen Sequoia (Mahogany) is protected from logging and wrecking in only two small areas in the United States: in Redwood National Park (Red Forest) and National Wildlife Refuge Muir Forest.

National reserve (forest park) Muir Woods is located 19 km North of San Francisco and is part of the park (recreation area) Golden Gate.

Muir Woods occupies 226 ha, occupies 97 ha of them grows Coast Redwood , literally - coast redwood ( Sequoia sempervirens - lat.) , referred to in Russian simply as " Sequoia ".

Tallest tree in Muir Woods 258 ft ( 79 m ). The average age of trees in Muir Woods is between 500 and 800 years old , the oldest ones are 1200 years old.

One hundred and fifty million years ago, these trees grew all over the continent. By the arrival of lumberjacks in the 19th century, they covered an area of ​​8000 sq. km. By the beginning of the 20th century, most of these forests had been cut down.

To save the remains of trees, a local businessman William Kent and his wife Elizabeth bought 247 hectares of land , which were supposed to be flooded during the construction of the dam. The hydrotechnical company sued him, and then Kent found a way out - he donated 119 hectares of land to the federal government.

January 9, 1908 President Theodore Roosevelt declared these lands a national monument. Under the terms of Kent, the monument was named after the naturalist John Muir, who did much to create a system of national parks. At 1937 construction of the Golden Gate Bridge was completed, and the attendance of the park tripled, reaching more than 180 thousand people. Now Muir Woods is one of the main tourist attractions of San Francisco Bay Area (San Francisco Bay Area) (776 thousand visitors in 2005).

Redwood National Park - national park in California , USA .

Created October 2, 1968 when president Lyndon Johnson signed a decree creating the Redwood National Park with a total area of ​​ 23,500 hectares . It included three 90,035 existing sequoia parks state level - Jededy Smith, Del Norte and Prairie Creek. In 1978, Congress decided to expand the area of ​​the national park by 90,034 19,400 hectares.

The park is covered with ancient sequoia forests .

Giant Sequoia (Sequoiadendron, Mammoth tree) is protected only in one place - in the Sequoia National Park.

Sequoia National Park (English) Sequoia National Park ) - national park USA , located in the southern part of the Sierra Nevada , east of the city of Visalia in California . Park founded in 1890 , third after Yellowstone National Parks and Mackinac , subsequently abolished. The area of ​​the park is 1,635 km². The park has a mountainous terrain, rising from about 400 meters above sea level in the foothills to the top of Mount Whitney, the highest in the contiguous 48 states. 4,421.1 meters high. The park borders Kings Canyon National Park. . Both parks are managed by the US National Park Service. as a single division - Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.

The park is best known for its giant sequoias , including a copy named General Sherman - the largest tree in the world if counted by the volume of its wood. In 2009, the timber volume of this tree was just under 1,500 cubic meters. General Sherman's tree grows in Giant Forest (English) Giant Forest ) , which contains five of the ten largest trees in the world by timber volume. The giant forest is connected by Generalov's road (English) Generals Highway ), with Grant Grove (English) Grant Grove ) in Kings Canyon National Park where, among other sequoias, General Grant's tree grows . Both types of Sequoia grow in this park - Red and Giant, but the Giant Sequoia of older ages grows, practically, only here, with the exception of a certain number in neighboring National parks and reserves (Yosemite and others).

California Sequoia National Park

The park is world famous for its giant sequoias. One of them - Tree General Sherman is the largest tree on Earth. This tree grows in Giant Forest , which also contains five of the ten largest trees in the world by timber volume.

General Sherman

D General Sherman's tree ( General Sherman tree ) in the Forest of Giants — is the most popular tree in the park. It is indeed the largest tree in the world by volume. , although not the highest, but one of the highest. Its height is 81 meters, diameter at the base - about 32 meters, and age - about 3 thousand years.

In addition, the Park has a number of attractions. The most popular of them is Tunnel Log is a small road tunnel cut right in the middle of a giant sequoia that has fallen onto the road.

In addition to the unique trees, is also famous for its caves. There are about 250 of them here, one of which stretches for 32 kilometers in length. Only one cave is open for tourists - Kristalnaya, the second largest in the Park.

Fossil specimens found give us an idea that giant sequoias existed in the Jurassic and occupied vast territories in the Northern Hemisphere. Now they can only be found in California and Southern Oregon. Typically, giant sequoias reach a height of 100 m , in diameter up to 11 m . Life expectancy this huge living organism is 2- 4 thousand years old. Tree bark thick, fibrous, non-flammable . When you touch it, the palm seems to sink into the tree, creating unusual sensations.

The park was established in 1890 for the purpose of protecting forests formed by sequoias. sequoias of two types grow here: giant sequoiadendron (mammoth tree) and sequoia evergreen (mahogany) . Both are huge trees - 90-100 m or more in height and up to 10-11 m in girth, their age reaches 4 thousand years.

The unique combination of age, size and weight of these trees makes them the largest trees and the longest living creatures present on planet Earth today.

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