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Think you're important? Stand next to a redwood tree. Try to see the top more than 300 feet above you. Listen the the stillness that has surrounded these giants for more than 1000 years. Walk among the fallen giants that will lie there on the forest floor for hundreds of years before they decompose. Consider the folly of chainsawing one of these wonders to be able to buy a box of tacos. If you're short on heros, consider a young woman who would sit in the top of a tree named Luna for nearly 2 years to save it's life. I appreciate the beauty of redwood lumber, but some things should have priority over man's ability to destroy.

Redwoods, as distinguished from Sequoias, are extremely large, tall, and long lived conifers which are native to the coastal range of central and northern California, and extreme southern Oregon. These trees thrive in extremely wet conditions, areas of the coast range where large quantities of rain fall and summer fog is abundant. Redwoods are charactarized, of course, by their red wood, and extremely thick bark. If you see a tree that looks like a redwood in the Sierras, it is probably a giant sequoia. If you see a tree that looks like a Redwood in the rockies, or another such area, it is probably just a large cedar. There is also a species of redwood native to China, Dawn Redwood, which is one of the only deciduous conifers.

Redwoods are generally accepted to be the tallest trees in the world, although some eucalyptus trees come close. Redwoods may be found in Redwood National Park, Muir Woods, Big Sur, Mendocino National Forest, and various other areas.

Although redwoods are beautiful trees, they usually don't make good landscape trees. If you live in or near an area where redwoods are native, you could give it a try. But give it a lot of room. Although they take thousands of years to reach the 300'+ heights of some of the old giants, they are still very fast growing trees. Their root system is extensive, and extremely shallow, and will tear up anything near the tree. Redwoods also tend to drop massive amounts of litter which tends to kill most things under them. I was once in a redwood forest during a windstorm. The huge trees were shedding 'twigs' which were about as big as trees themselves. Don't plant a redwood close to a structure you like. Also, if you dont get a lot of rain, you will have a lot of trouble keeping a redwood alive. They require a LOT of water and aren't as cold hardy as sequoias.

i once saw a redwood used as a hedge, in the UC Davis Horticulture department no less. Don't use a redwood as a hedge. it's ugly and seems somewhat degrading too. I guess i'm one who believes redwoods are meant to be forest trees, and should be protected everywhere they naturally grow, but arent really meant to be in suburban landscapes.

Red"wood` (-w&oocr;d`), n. Bot. (a)

A gigantic coniferous tree (Sequoia sempervirens) of California, and its light and durable reddish timber. See Sequoia.


An East Indian dyewood, obtained from Pterocarpus santalinus, Caesalpinia Sappan, and several other trees.

⇒ The redwood of Andaman is Pterocarpus dalbergioides; that of some parts of tropical America, several species of Erythoxylum; that of Brazil, the species of Humirium.


© Webster 1913.

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