• Giant Sequoia Trees

    Sequoia & Kings Canyon

    National Parks California

Vegetation Protection

orange fencing protects a sequoia tree

Restoration activities involved careful protection of sequoias and associated resources.

NPS photo by Athena Demetry

To protect soils and vegetation, contractors were required to install fencing around sensitive sites and residual vegetation before beginning demolition. Eight-foot tall lumber barricades were placed around mature sequoias to protect the soft bark from damage and to keep equipment from disturbing roots or compacting soils close to the base of the trees. Four-foot tall orange fencing was installed around groupings of trees, shallow root zones, or other sensitive areas. Lath snow fence was wrapped around boles of trees in close proximity to buildings to prevent mechanical damage to bark during removal. Metal sheeting was placed over exposed or shallow sequoia root zones to disperse equipment weight and prevent wheel damage to roots. Travel routes were designated on contract drawings to constrain equipment travel and minimize soil compaction. Incentive for protecting natural resources was supplied by a contract provision by which the contractor could be assessed monetary damages for causing injury to trees, soils, or vegetation. NPS inspectors and a restoration ecologist provided daily oversight of operations. Also prior to demolition, silt fence or excelsior (curled aspen fiber) filter logs were installed in locations where water runoff exits the project site to prevent silt input to streams or wetlands.

Did You Know?

Loggers pose in front of a mighty felled sequoia.

Sequoia wood proved too brittle for most lumber uses. Some felled sequoias even shattered as they hit the ground. Most lumbered sequoias ended up as fence posts, shingles, and even match sticks!