CALIFORNIA COASTAL REDWOODS
We scored a beautiful campsite on the Smith River in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park. The forest carried a heavenly scent of bay laurel (those leaves in the foreground of the previous photo.)
Our new back yard!!
We arrived late in the day and as soon as camp was settled, we took off in search of BIG trees. We didn't have to go far...
California Redwoods were logged heavily in the late 1800's. Beginning in 1900, conservationists fought to save these giant trees from extinction. Thanks to their efforts there are many stands of old growth trees for us to enjoy. Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park has some of the most impressive groves on the north coast.
We drove down Howland Hill Road to the trailhead for the "Big Boy Scout Tree" trail. The 5 mile round trip trail was beautiful at every turn and the "Boy Scout Tree" was BIG!
The coastal Redwoods live in a temperate but not quite rainforest ecosystem. Mild winters and coastal rainfall contribute to their growth. Summer fog protects them from dry summer heat. If conditions are right, they can grow one - two feet a year. The tallest ones may be well over 300 feet tall.
The understory of a mature grove mostly consists of ferns and red sorrel.
Redwoods have a very unique survival strategy- they can reproduce by either seed or clone. A stressed tree will develop a burl that is capable of growing clones. The "proboscis" burl in the photo may contain hundreds of new tree clones.
Clone babies growing @ the base of a mature tree. Below: a tiny pine cone for a giant tree. Each cone carries about one hundred seeds, each tree may produce a thousand cones a year.