7 Redwood Trees

12:46 p.m. on April 6, 2011 (EDT)
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I was able to get off early today..so I went hiking for a few hours. Believe it or not, there are 7 redwood trees brought over in the 1800's to Landstuhl, Germany. They are located out Landstuhl Army Post.


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Ah...the beginning of a nice afternoon hike...
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1:13 p.m. on April 6, 2011 (EDT)
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So they were planted in the 1800s. How big are they, they look fairly large for being 100 years old?

What is the shell engraving on the rock?

3:11 p.m. on April 6, 2011 (EDT)
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Sorry, I guess the words on the sign are a bit small. A forest ranger or protector brought the redwoods over to Germany in 1868. One of the trees is 130 feet tall and 6.5 feet diameter. Maybe the sign is a family crest from the ranger mentioned in the sign. It was built in the 1800's, so the only way to find out is to look at local Rathaus (town hall) for various crests of local families.  Normally when there is a Von in the name, the person is royalty. I felt dwarfed by the trees, and they were the largest living things in the woods. You could not miss them. The rest of the sign talks about the history of redwoods in the USA.

3:35 p.m. on April 6, 2011 (EDT)
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Amazing they are already 130 feet in 143 years. They must grow fast at first then slow down as they approach 1000? I watched a program last night on DVD that was talking about drought from global warming and the threat it could have on the giant trees in California. I wonder if there were larger tree's than the ones left when the lumbermen started cutting them in the 1800s?

6:20 p.m. on April 6, 2011 (EDT)
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That height and diameter are about right, maybe even a bit small for redwoods of that age. depending on whether they are sequoia gigantea (giant sequoia, found in the Sierra) or sequoia sempervirens (coast redwoods), the two primary surviving species. The coast redwoods are the taller, and the giant sequoia are the larger diameter.

Among my volunteer activities, I am Forestry Chair for our local Boy Scout Council. We have two camp properties of about 300 acres each in the Santa Cruz Mountains, mostly redwoods. While there are no old-growth trees in either camp (nor in the Big Basin Redwoods State Park, adjacent to one of the camps), we have numerous trees in the 10-15 foot diameter range. Because the camps are so close to the many small towns in the Santa Cruz Mountains and to several state parks, we are required by CalFire (the California Division of Forestry) and state law to maintain a healthy forest, while keeping the fuel load down. Every year there are fires in the forests, often taking tens of millions of dollars worth of houses with them. So we have a prescribed cycle of thinning (selective harvest), which includes a roughly 15 year cycle in a given section of each camp. This opens the canopy so the young trees can grow healthily. In the 20 years I have been on the Committee, I have seen seedlings (we have to plant as well) grow to a couple feet in diameter and 30-40 feet tall. We have some specimen trees that we preserve that are well over 100 feet tall and 15 feet in diameter, that size since the clear-cutting that was done right after the 1906 earthquake to rebuild San Francisco. Redwood City, just up the peninsula about 5 miles from my home in Palo Alto once had a thick stand of redwoods - they went into rebuilding San Francisco.

In the natural cycle, there are lightning-caused fires. Redwoods themselves are not killed by fires, but the fires clear the undergrowth. Since fires are "forbidden", when a fire gets started, CalFire agressively fights the fires. Before the Spaniards and Russians came to this area (the Spanish from Mexico in the south and the Russians from Alaska in the north, meeting at Fort Ross, just north of San Francisco), the Costonoans (Native Americans in this area) used to regularly set fires to clear the underbrush and create meadows. These open areas would attract deer and elk, making hunting easier. Same kind of practice in the Sierra for the tribes there, and also further up the coast in the Cascades.

There is a related species in eastern Siberia on the Kamchatka Peninsula, though nowhere as extensive as still grow on the Pacific coast.

10:13 a.m. on April 7, 2011 (EDT)
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My plant taxonomy vote is for giant sequoia.  College was a while ago.  Though I would reccommend putting boardwalks around the trees to protect the roots. 

10:25 a.m. on April 7, 2011 (EDT)
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That is correct, they are giant sequoia. The area is protected land. The trees were brought over and then planted from my understanding. Just the 7. They thrived over here because the area is a lot like the Northwestern US. In fact, many people say the only difference between my area and Washington state is the culture.

11:06 a.m. on April 7, 2011 (EDT)
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Very interesting, thanks for posting the photos

October 2, 2014
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