The Thursday Picture – Back to the Future

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Today’s Thursday Picture is of a Coast Redwood…actually, many Coast Redwoods seemingly surrounding what remains of an old growth Redwood that was cut down probably around the time of the Civil War to provide wood for a growing San Francisco or, to help the lime industry in this area.
Much of San Francisco was built from Redwood logged from the Santa Cruz Mountains, including this area in what is now a California State Park.

What I find interesting is that although the “parent” tree was cut down long ago, it never really died completely. Coast redwoods can reproduce by sprouting from the root crown, stump, or even fallen branches; if a tree falls over, it will regenerate a row of new trees along the trunk. These new trees originate from dormant buds at or under the surface of the bark. The dormant sprouts are stimulated when the parent tree gets damaged or starts to die. That is why, when hiking through Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, one can see many second growth redwoods growing in a circle around an old stump. The ring of Redwoods is called a “fairy ring.”

Someday, oh, maybe a thousand years from now, these second growth redwoods could be up to 30 feet in diameter and 300 feet tall!

If you are visiting California, you really must make a point to visit our state parks, like Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, to appreciate these Giants. As I was standing along the trail, gazing up at the “General Fremont” Coast Redwood, a State Park Ranger walked by me. He said, “Amazing , aren’t they?” I Said, “yes, no matter how many times I come here, I am still amazed at these trees!” The Park Ranger stopped, looked at me and said, “you know, I work here every day….and, I am still amazed!”

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park – http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=546

California State Parks 150th Anniversary Link – http://www.150.parks.ca.gov/ Thank You to all of the State Park Rangers, Maintenance Folks, and volunteers who keep our State Parks great places to visit!

So, where are you going to hike this weekend?

If you’re looking for me, I’m over the hill!

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