The Redwoods of Coast and Sierra
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BOTH SPECIES of Redwood are found growing natively only in western North America. Dr. Jepson, in his Silva of California, gives the most complete available account of their distribution.

Fig. 1. Distribution of Coast and Sierra Redwood. (click on image for an enlargement in a new window)


The Coast Redwood grows only within the summer fog belt of California and southwestern Oregon. There are three small groves in Oregon; the others occur along the coast of California. The Coast Redwood reaches its greatest development in Humboldt and Del Norte counties, California, especially on the bottom lands of Smith River and the main Eel rivers. It has a range of 450 miles from north to south, and an average width of 20 miles, extending in some places back as far as 40 miles from the Pacific Ocean. Its altitudinal range is from near sea level to about 3,000 feet elevation. The southern extension of the Coast Redwood is found in the Santa Lucia Mountains south of Monterey. On account of unfavorable climatic conditions in this southern extension, the stand is thin; scattered or isolated trees are far more common than in the north.

Throughout the range, the Coast Redwood is commonly the dominant tree, but is usually associated on the slopes with Douglas Fir, Lowland Fir, Coast Hemlock, and Tan Oak; on the flats or river benches it forms pure stands, crowding out all other species. At the heads of canyons or on the divides, the Redwoods diminish in number and are replaced by increasing numbers of Douglas Fir, Tan Oak, and Madrona.


The distribution of the Coast Redwood appears to be correlated with the amount of precipitation, summer fogs, and mildness of temperature. The main part of the Redwood belt from Marin County to Del Norte County receives on the coast line a seasonal average of 50 inches of rain. The average is higher in the extreme north. Crescent City in northern California often receives as much as 100 inches of rainfall annually. Southward the average decreases rapidly, diminishing to 25 inches at the limit of the distribution. The Redwood belt is distinguished as a region of high rainfall in the rainy season, from about November to April; a region of prevailing fogs in the dry season, during the summer; and a region of slight change of temperature each day throughout the year.

There are several important and well-known stands of Coast Redwoods, of which the following are the best known.

The Redwood Highway.—One of the finest and most beautiful highways in America extends through great forests of Coast Redwood from Marin County, California, to the southern edge of Oregon, a distance of nearly 500 miles. It passes through more than 100 miles of almost virgin Redwood forest—the finest forest in the world. Dr. John C. Merriam, President of the Save-the-Redwoods League, writing in The Living Past, describes the trees in the following words:

As you advance into these splendid forests, the arches of foliage narrow above you and shade deepens into twilight. Between close-set trunks you look through windows framed in shadow. Here and there behind these openings in a distant aisle faint touches of sun upon the shaft of a young tree bring out its red-brown glow. Like pillars of a temple, the giant columns space themselves with mutual support, producing unity and not mere symmetry. Ponderous strength, an almost infinite variety in expression of light and shade and color, and a perspective with marvellously changing depth, compose a scene such as canvas has yet to receive.

But woven through this picture is an element which eludes the imagery of art. The sense of time makes itself felt as it can but rarely be experienced. While, through contrasts of their seemingly fantastic architecture, ancient castles may tell us of other ages, living trees like these connect us as by hand-touch with all the centuries they have known. The time they represent is not merely an unrelated, severed past; it is something upon which the present rests, and from which living currents still seem to move.

The mysterious influence of these groves arises not alone from magnitude, or from beauty of light filling deep spaces. It is as if in these trees the flow of years were held in eddies, and one could see together past and present. The element of time pervades the forest with an influence more subtle than light, but that to the mind is not less real.


As particularly the Redwood Highway region shows, several organizations have bestirred themselves to preserve areas of Coast Redwoods. The Save-the-Redwoods League has been by far the most active and influential of them. The investment resulting from the efforts of the League, together with that of the California State Park Commission, involves State park lands valued at more than $6,000,000, and these lands represent a total of approximately 40,000 acres of Redwood forest. The policy pursued by the League (as expressed in its annual report issued in September, 1933) is "protection of the vast investment in Redwood Parks already established in California, so as to preserve their naturalness, enhance their beauty, and increase their usefulness and inspiration to nature-lovers all over the world." The League now has approximately 5,000 members. Through its influence many sizable gifts of money have been made for the purchase of Redwood areas for the State.

The State of California, through its Department of Natural Resources, Division of Parks, has coöperated with the Save-the-Redwoods League. Under the State Park Bond Act of 1927, the State matched private gifts of approximately $2,750,000. It has placed foresters and naturalists in various State parks. It has made the parks accessible and attractive to visitors. Under its direction, exhibits have been prepared which present many valuable and interesting facts pertaining to the Redwoods.

Among other organizations active in saving the Redwoods the best known are the Garden Club of America, the California Federation of Women's Clubs, and the Native Daughters of the Golden West.

Save-the-Redwoods League Coast Redwood projects.—At least four important projects in the northern Redwoods area have been actively furthered by the Save-the-Redwoods League. Four State Redwood Parks represent the areas involved: the Humboldt State Redwood Park, south of Eureka in Humboldt County; the Prairie Creek Redwoods, north of Eureka in Humboldt County; the Del Norte Coast Redwoods, north of Eureka in Del Norte County; and the Hiouchi Redwoods, north of Crescent City in Del Norte County. (The Hiouchi Redwoods are referred to in the publications of the Save-the-Redwoods League as the Mill Creek-Smith River Redwoods.)

Humboldt State Redwood Park.—The Humboldt State Redwood Park system is the largest and most notable of the four projects; altogether it has an area of approximately 20,000 acres. Here, as in several others among the regions preserved for park purposes, the visitor may see a notice explaining the policy of the State in caring for the park areas: "This property belongs to the people of the State of California. It was acquired because it is an area of outstanding beauty and interest. Your cooperation is asked in preserving it in as perfect condition as possible, not only for its present value, but also for the education and inspiration of future generations." There are four more or less distinct units within the limits of the Humboldt State Redwood Park. They are the following.

Richardson Grove.—This grove, near the southern end of the park, is one of the most beautiful groves of the Redwood Highway. During the summer months, the State maintains at the grove a ranger-naturalist who gives daily lectures, conducts all-day hiking trips, and plans the entertainment and educational features for the evening campfire programs. Professor Emanuel Fritz, Councillor of the Save-the-Redwoods League, has prepared a number of exhibits for the park. One of these is an unusual stump of an old tree, which he has described in one of the League's pamphlets ("The Story Told by a Fallen Redwood"): The tree was 12 feet in diameter at breast height and was 310-320 feet high. Its life history, extending back over 1200 years, may be understood by studying its growth rings and its root system. The stump is exceptionally instructive also in revealing the story of the building up of a river bench. "When this tree started life, about 700 A.D., the ground level was about 11 feet lower than it is at present. Seven great floods occurring during the life of this tree deposited enough silt to raise the ground level more than 11 feet. Each time the tree was partially buried, but was able to adapt itself to the new level by originating a new and higher root system." Among other exhibits is a section of a tree trunk illustrating a "flatiron" type of growth; it shows 365 growth rings on one side and 472 on the other. There is also a section of the oldest Coast Redwood the age of which has been accurately recorded; it is approximately 2,200 years old.

Memorial groves.—Just a few miles north of the Richardson Grove are to be found about thirty rather small groves. Many of these have been purchased and given to the State by individuals or organizations and set aside in honor of some person or for some special purpose. The larger and more important of these groves are the following.

The Franklin K. Lane Memorial Grove is about 20 miles north of the Richardson Grove. It contains 193 acres. In 1921 the Save-the-Redwoods League obtained this property for the State with funds supplied by friends and admirers of Franklin K. Lane, the League's first president and Secretary of the Interior in President Wilson's cabinet.

The Honor Grove is a few miles north of the Lane Memorial Grove. It has been set aside by the California State Park Commission to provide means of honoring specifically named persons through funds raised by relatives and friends. Certain trees or parts of the area can be designated as memorials. The grove contains 80 acres of beautiful Redwood forest.

The Children's Forest, of 1,384 acres, just north of the Honor Grove and on the west bank of the South Fork of the Eel River, is partly for memorial and partly for recreational purposes. It is an attractive bit of woodland: ferns and sorrels grow in profusion, there is a stretch of river bank, and there are small meadows where children can play.

The Garden Club of America Grove is one of the most noteworthy of the memorial groves. For several years, members of the Garden Club of America helped materially in the Save-the-Redwoods movement. It was in large measure because of their efforts that the Council of Presidents of this nation-wide organization, at its convention in Seattle, in July, 1930, voted to raise a fund for the purchase of a Redwood grove. The fund was raised by clubs in all parts of the United States—evidence of the nation-wide interest in the movement to save the Redwoods. A tract of virgin forest at Canoe Creek was bought for $150,000, half of which was provided from the fund raised by the Garden Club members the other half by State park bond funds. The grove includes some of the finest specimens of Coast Redwood known. A part of it has been set aside as a "sanctuary for native flora." The main grove, of approximately 2,500 acres, is on the west bank of the South Fork of the Eel River, across the river from the highway.


The Native Daughters of the Golden West Grove is a small but nevertheless noteworthy grove of 46 acres.

The California Federation of Women's Clubs Grove has an area of 106 acres. Over a period of many years the California clubwomen accumulated a fund to purchase a Redwood grove, and in 1930 they were able to buy this one. An inscription on a fallen-log marker at the grove says: "California Federation of Women's Clubs Grove, presented to the State of California that these trees through the coming years shall minister to the destiny of mankind." A feature of interest in the grove is the federation's "Hearthstone."

Bull Creek Flat.—This is one of the larger areas of the Humboldt Redwood Park territory; it contains approximately 13,000 acres. It is less than two miles off the main highway on the road west from Dyerville. Preservation of the area was in large part made possible through the gift of John D. Rockefeller, Jr., of $1,000,000 outright and a second $1,000,000 to match private gifts.

After the acquisition of the Bull Creek Flat area, the president of the Save-the-Redwoods League, Dr. John C. Merriam, sent to the members of the League a special message saying: "The purchase of the Bull Creek area marks the most important step in the development of the program of the Save-the-Redwoods League. This, with other acquisitions of exceptional Redwood forest, guarantees to California and to the nation preservation and enjoyment of the most remarkable forest tracts known. This forest constitutes one of the greatest assets of California and of the United States, and will have increasing value as a spiritual influence in the life of the people of the State and of the nation."

Among the hundreds of remarkable trees of the grove, two are of special interest and are well known to many visitors. One of these is the "Big Tree," which is 72 feet in circumference at the base, 16 feet 6 inches in diameter, and 345 feet tall. It contains 235,000 board feet of lumber and is one of the largest of the Coast Redwood trees. The other, the "Flatiron Tree," which stands about a hundred yards from the "Big Tree," shows an unusual flattening of the trunk because at the base one side grew much more rapidly than the other. This tree is 21 feet across the base when viewed from the east, and 6 feet when viewed from the north; at base it is 49 feet in circumference and 15 feet in diameter, and at breast height, 41 feet in circumference and 13 feet in diameter.

North Dyerville Flat.—The Dyerville Flat area is usually considered in connection with the Bull Creek Flat region. They are so near together as to constitute almost a continuous park of great beauty and value. The Dyerville grove is on the main Redwood Highway near Dyerville. It is a region of unusually tall trees, among which is one that is becoming well known—the "Founders' Tree, the World's Tallest Known Standing Tree." This tree, which is 364 feet tall, is only slightly taller than many of its neighbors, which range from 350 to 360 feet tall, and thus is just a "taller" tree among tall trees.

Prairie Creek Redwood Park.—This park, of approximately 6,000 acres, is valued at $1,000,000. It is in the northern part of Humboldt County, fifty miles north of Eureka. In 1932, the report of the Save-the-Redwoods League said of the Prairie Creek Redwoods: "Differing widely in character from that of the Redwood forest of southern Humboldt County with its heavy 'flats,' of virgin Redwoods along the river bottoms, the Prairie Creek forest combines both the 'flat' type with the 'slope' type, affording splendid examples of both. The 'slope' timber is unusual in quality, size, and density of stand, and the exquisite forest cover very luxuriant. Numerous varieties of ferns, notably the great sword ferns and the delicate Lomaria, grow in almost tropical abandon, and rhododendron, huckleberry, and other shrubs form a veritable jungle, which, except for a few old trails here and there, is well-nigh impenetrable. The clover-like Oxalis thickly carpets the forest floor and in spring is richly embroidered with patches of wild iris, purple and yellow violets, delicate white trilliums, and Redwood lilies. In late May the deep rose rhododendron bursts into its rich flamboyant bloom. In the midst of the woods are many venerable Western maples, the branches and trunks of which are entirely moss covered. The silver fir, a symmetrical and beautiful conifer, is found here, and the young Redwoods, often springing from the stump of a fallen parent tree, seem, in contrast with the mother-tree, to be members of an entirely different species, so graceful and delicate they appear beside their towering, massive elders." A short distance from the main highway, this section has its own "Big Tree." This tree is one of the five or six largest of the Coast Redwoods; it is 90 feet in circumference, 17 feet 7 inches in diameter, and 300 feet tall.

Del Norte Coast Redwood Park.—In the southern end of Del Norte County, near Crescent City, and on the old Eureka-Crescent City highway, is this park of approximately 3,000 acres. The grove affords an interesting contrast between the forest and the sea. The Redwoods grow on rolling slopes which rise from the ocean coastline; the western boundary of the park extends along seven miles of ocean shore.

Hiouchi Redwood Park.—The Hiouchi Redwood Park is referred to in the publications of the Save-the-Redwoods League as the Mill Creek-Smith River Redwoods. The present area preserved contains less than 200 acres, but it is in a region which contains at least 20,000 acres of beautiful Redwoods that ought to be rescued from lumbering. The park is on the Crescent City-Grants Pass highway, about six miles northeast of Crescent City. It is a virgin Redwood forest of unusually big trees. In the Frank D. Stout Grove at the mouth of Mill Creek is one of the largest Coast Redwoods.

Private parks.—Although there are several privately owned parks along the Redwood Highway, mention of only two must suffice here. One, Coolidge Park, is a small area in the southern section of the Coast Redwoods which has at least two trees worthy of mention—the Coolidge Tree, through the burned base of which a roadway has recently been cut, and the Hendricks Tree, a very large tree with a peculiar arrangement of the large branches, which extend outward only a few feet from the side of the tree and then turn upward parallel with the trunk. The other, Big Tree Park, is a small park in Del Norte County. Among its attractions are the General Custer Tree, one of the largest of the Coast Redwood trees, and a large fallen Redwood log with a very large spruce tree growing on top of it.

Muir Woods National Monument.—Muir Woods National Monument is in Marin County near San Francisco Bay. It was William Kent's gift to the nation in honor of his friend, John Muir, notable pioneer in the National Park movement. The Monument embraces 427 acres, not all of which support a growth of Redwood. The area which contains most of the Redwood is about a mile long and a half-mile wide.

There are hundreds of fine trees in Muir Woods. The largest trees are estimated to be from 700 to 1,000 years old. The tallest tree in the Monument is 240.6 feet high. The largest diameter of any tree at breast height is 14.6 feet. Often, the Coast Redwoods sprout from the base of a "mother" tree, forming a circle around the base of the parent tree. Later, the mother tree may die, leaving the sturdy offspring to continue the race. One such circle in this area, the Cathedral Grove, comprises 42 trees.

California State Redwood Park—Big Basin.—The California State Redwood Park is about 20 miles northeast of Santa Cruz. It is often called "Big Basin." It has an area of approximately 10,000 acres. Several well-known trees are in the park; for example, the Mother Tree, which is 335 feet tall, and the Animal Tree, on which are very large specimens of Redwood burl. The Chimney Tree is burned out, yet still continues to grow. The Santa Clara Tree is one of the largest of the Coast Redwoods; it is 17 feet, 9 inches in diameter, and 240 feet in height.

Santa Cruz County Big Trees Park.—The Santa Cruz County Big Trees Park, the gift of Santa Cruz County, is a few miles northeast of Santa Cruz. Although the park is called "Big Trees Park," the term "Big Trees" refers to the Coast Redwood and not the so-called "Big Trees" of the Sierra Nevada. The Board of Supervisors of Santa Cruz County purchased the property embracing the park in 1930. There are some very fine trees in the park, a few of which are more than 300 feet tall; for example, the Giant Tree, the Neck Breaker, and the Cathedral group. This grove has been visited by Theodore Roosevelt and many other proponents of conservation.


The Sierra Redwoods grow natively only in California. They are found on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada at elevations ordinarily between 5,000 and 8,000 feet. Some trees have been found as low as 3,000 feet elevation and a few grow at an elevation of 8,400 feet. They occur on favorable or protected spots where the soil is deep, rich, and moist, and thrive in a region where the average annual rainfall is from 45 to 60 inches. Much of this precipitation is in the form of snow, which frequently lies from 10 to 12 feet deep and stays on the ground for from three to six months in the year. The temperature in winter often falls to zero or below.

The Sierra Redwoods rarely grow in pure stands, but are found in association with White Fir, Incense Cedar, Yellow Pine, and Sugar Pine. Of these four trees, the White Fir is the most abundant. The Sierra Redwoods form separate and distinct groves, which are found from west of Lake Tahoe in Placer County to the southern end of the Sierra Nevada in Tulare County, a range of about 250 miles from north to south. In the grove west of Tahoe, there are only six standing trees and no reproduction is being made. The number of groves has been variously listed by different authorities at from 25 to 70.

Nearly all the more important groves of Sierra Redwood are in National Parks, National Forests, or in Calaveras State Park. Sequoia, General Grant, and Yosemite National Parks represent the Government's attempt to preserve these giant trees for the enjoyment of all America and the world.

Sequoia National Park—home of thousands of Sierra Redwood.— Although many values are conserved in Sequoia National Park, its chief glory is the Sierra Redwood trees and their associates. There are more Sierra Redwoods growing in this park, and near it, than in all the rest of the world. It is a marvelous place for observing these trees in all their varying moods. Many of them may be seen from the park highway, but the visitor should stop and study them more closely; he will find no better place to do so. He may have supposed that Sierra Redwoods grow only along mountain ridges and in canyons; here he will see them growing also in flowering meadows and beside rippling streams. He should take time to see their towering tops above the smaller pines and firs as he stands at the summit of Moro Rock. He should go to the beginning of the trail in Crescent Meadow and walk slowly through the forest. He should gaze long at the mighty "President Tree" and the giants of the "Senate" and "House" groups on either hand. He should take time among them to gain some feeling of their vitality, their majesty, their patience, and their beauty. He will find this park a good place, besides, for learning something about the collection of mature seeds and their storage and planting. A well-equipped nursery is maintained, where seeds are planted for use in the park. When the seedlings are strong and vigorous enough to withstand the competition of the forest, they are transplanted; many places formerly desolate have thus been made attractive.

In Sequoia National Park are more than twenty groves of Sierra Redwood and they contain thousands of trees more than 10 feet in diameter and other thousands of young trees. At least three of these groves—the Giant Forest, Muir Grove, and the Redwood Meadow Grove—deserve special mention here.

Giant Forest.—The Giant Forest, discovered by Hale Tharp and named by John Muir, is the finest and largest grove of Sierra Redwood in existence. It lies between the Middle and Marble forks of the Kaweah River, and contains more than 3,500 trees that are over 10 feet in diameter. These form, really, scores of separate groves merging into one another. The Congress group and the group of the Presidents are two of the best known in this forest. The General Sherman, one of the world's most famous trees, is in this grove.


Muir Grove.—Muir Grove was named in honor of John Muir, writer, explorer, and nature-lover, who did so much to arouse the nation to the value of preserving the Redwoods to be enjoyed and revered by thousands who visit them each year. The grove is almost a forest of very large trees of almost pure stand, and is considered to be nearly equal to the Giant Forest in interest and beauty. The grove is situated on the North Fork of the Kaweah River watershed.

Redwood Meadow Grove.—The Redwood Meadow Grove, in the central part of Sequoia National Park, is a beautiful grove of about 150 large trees, in which there is extremely heavy and uniform reproduction. The grove is of especial interest because it was the gift of Stephen T. Mather, the first Director of National Parks. Mr. Mather did much to establish the high type of administration that characterizes the National Parks of America.

Yosemite National Park—home of El Capitan and Big Trees.—In Yosemite National Park are two small groves and one that is large and well known. The Tuolumne Grove on the Big Oak Flat road contains about 25 large trees. One of the dead trees is still standing and a roadway has been cut through its base. The Merced Grove, containing about 20 large trees, is on the old Coulterville road. The tallest tree in Yosemite is one of these and is 300 feet high. The largest and by far the best known grove of Yosemite Park is the Mariposa Grove.

Mariposa Grove—home of Grizzly Giant and Wawona.—Mariposa Grove is situated near the southern boundary of Yosemite National Park, about 37 miles from Yosemite Valley by way of the new tunnel. This grove, too, is exceptionally lovely, containing about 200 Sierra Redwood trees that are more than 10 feet in diameter. There are hundreds of slenderer young trees. More than 10,000 seedlings were counted in the spring of 1935. Nearly all the larger trees can be seen from the highway, which extends past the fallen Massachusetts Tree, the Telescope Tree, and through the Wawona or Tunnel Tree.

The Grizzly Giant, one of the oldest and largest trees in the world, has been one of the chief attractions of this grove for years. Its tremendous trunk, twisted and gnarled branches, and its appearance of having withstood numerous storms and fires, give it a distinction all its own. One large limb, 6 feet in diameter, is more than 100 feet from the ground. Although, through the centuries, about four-fifths of the bark has been burned from the base of the tree, it still continues to live and grow.


The spirit of reverence and humility which one feels as one enters the upper grove is intensified as one stops near the museum to read these words written by Superintendent Thomson:

These Sequoia gigantea are of a noble lineage that bridges humanity back through eons to the age of reptiles.

Here live venerable forest kings in reveries that carry back a thousand years before Jesus Christ walked the shores of Galilee.

In their majestic shadow, fretting men may well pause to ponder values—to consider the ironic limitations of threescore years and ten.

Here, through a compelling humility, men may achieve a finer integrity of soul.

The question most often asked of the ranger-naturalist at the Mariposa Grove museum is, "Where is the tree you can drive through?" This tree, which is 231 feet tall and 26 feet in diameter, is the Wawona Tree, sometimes called the Tunnel Tree. It was in 1880 that a roadway large enough to permit the passage of a vehicle was cut through the tree. The Wawona is probably the most photographed tree in the world. Pictures of the tree have appeared in geographies for more than fifty years.

Web Edition Note: The tree fell during the winter of 1968-69.

One of the most picturesque groups of trees in the upper grove is the group of four trees of similar size arranged in military formation which gives them the appearance of sentinels of the forest. They are to be seen near the museum and are known as the Four Guardsmen. Among other important trees in the upper grove is the Lafayette, 273 feet tall and 29 feet in diameter. The ranger-naturalist often asks people to take hold of hands, and, with outstretched arms, to circle the tree. It requires at least twenty people to surround it thus. The Columbia Tree is the tallest tree in the grove; it is 285 feet in height and 28 feet in diameter. The Mariposa Tree is 249 feet tall and 25 feet in diameter. The Washington Tree is 30 feet in diameter. These are three of the largest and best-known trees of the Mariposa Grove.

The Corridor, Clothespin, Haverford, and Telescope trees are fine examples of how seriously Sierra Redwood trees may suffer from fire and yet continue to live. Fire has destroyed the entire inside of the Telescope Tree, as well as part of both sides and the top; it thus forms a telescope through which one may look up and see blue sky above. In spite of these burns, it is a live, growing tree. It is certain that it has lived without its heartwood for more than 70 years, as there have been no serious fires in the Mariposa Grove since 1862.

Several well-known trees in the Mariposa Grove have fallen. Since the Redwoods are not killed by insects or decay, and since fire seldom completely kills one of them, the question is often asked, "Why do the trees fall?" Fire may burn the base of the tree so badly that the tree becomes overbalanced and finally falls in a storm, or after it; erosion of soil from the base of a tree may almost expose the shallow roots, and ultimately cause the destruction of the tree; and trees which grow near streams often lose their balance on account of softening of the soil near the shallow roots. Almost all the fallen trees in Mariposa Grove are down from one or more of these causes.

The Fallen Monarch, a giant which was down when the grove was discovered in 1857, lies in the lower grove. It is an unusually large tree, and in spite of the fact that it has been dead for more than 80 years it shows very few signs of decay. It is often pictured with a troop of the Sixth Cavalry grouped upon and in front of the tree. Another famous old picture shows on the fallen trunk a stagecoach filled with passengers and drawn by six horses.

The Massachusetts Tree is valuable in the lessons it continues to teach, though it fell in 1927. The tree was 28 feet in diameter and 280 feet tall. It had been badly burned before the discovery of Mariposa Grove. Weakened by fire and adversely affected by the highway which ran near its base, it fell in a storm in the spring of 1927. The brittleness of the Sierra Redwood is shown by this tree; it broke transversely at a height of 75 feet from the ground, split longitudinally in half for some distance above that point, and, yet higher, even broke in fourths. The broken ends of the tree are covered with a dark substance which gives them the appearance of having been covered with creosote. This substance is rich in tannin and other chemicals with which nature protects both the live and the dead tree from the effects of fungi and insects. Limbs of the tree more than 5 feet in diameter are to be observed more than 150 feet from the base of the tree.

In the summer of 1934, after a violent windstorm, the Stable Tree fell. This tree had been used in times past as a stable; several horses could be tied in the burned-out base of it.

The Utah Tree, near the Mariposa Grove museum, fell in the winter of 1934-35. Severe fire scars had weakened it, and the winter storms ended its life.


The Redwoods of Coast and Sierra
©1940, University of California Press
shirley/sec4.htm — 02-Feb-2007