Sunday, September 12, 2010

Coast Redwoods.

A cool breeze was coming down from the green hills down to the ocean. Last night's tides erased the footprints of many curious souls that had wandered on the beach. Long gray trunks, remnants of ones huge trees, were scattered on the shore. Glancing east, the sea fog was creeping in and rose over the spired tips of towering coast redwoods.
It's a pretty typical day in Redwood National Park on California's North Coast. The park was on our way to the next farm, and we were excited to roam around and see the tallest trees in the world!
Coat Redwood require a tremendous amount of moisture to survive. According to the information we have learnt in the visitor's center, a single old-growth coast redwood tree consumes up to 500 gallons of water each day! And the Pacific Ocean helps to quench this thirst. From October through April is the season of storms, when 60-80 inches of annual rain falls over the region. During dry summer months the coast redwood trees gather their moisture, so vital for the healthy growth, from the fog.
The oceanic influences ensure fairy constant year-round temperatures along California's redwood coast: mid-50s to mid-60s F. They say locals complain if the heat reaches 70F! While coat redwoods can survive brief heat waves and short bursts of winter chill, the moderate, almost Mediterranean climate permits redwoods to focus their energy on growing to extraordinary heights.
Hiking in the woods threw us back in our initial morning driving plans. But we had such great time in the park, that it didn't really matter that it would take us an extra day to get to the farm.
We also were twice as exited to see the redwoods, because the farm we would be staying on in Sierra Nevada mountains was right by the Sequoia National Forest, and we would have an opportunity to compare the redwoods to the sequoias. Three Redwoods-Dawn Redwood, Giant Sequoia and Coast Redwood are all in a subfamily.

Dawn Redwoods, thought to be extinct, were rediscovered by a forester in central China, in 1944. Dawn Redwoods' height reaches to 140 feet (43 m), and they grow up to 6 feet (2 m) in diameter.

Giant sequoias are quick-growing and long-lived (some over 3,000 years old). No tree is more massive than the giant sequoia. Their height reaches to 311 feet (95 m), and the diameter to 40 feet (12 m).
Coast Redwoods are the tallest trees, reaching height to 370 feet (113 m) or more, and diameter to 22 feet (7 m).
"Peek a boo" from the trunk of a coast redwood tree.


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