Archive for May, 2010

Largest Trees on Earth

Author: Blake Linnekin

I became very interested the other day after watching National Geographics television show Explorer: Climbing Redwood Giants.  The show convinced me that getting to the Redwood forrests is definitely on my list of things I would like to get done before I die.  Steven Sillett has spent a large portion of his life dedicated to learning everything there is to know about these gigantic trees.  Ninety-five percent of anceint redwoods have been cut down from logging and protests throughout most of the 1990’s caused significant change in the industry. 

Jim Able is an arborist consultant in the logging industry and practices what is now commonplace for redwoods in California by doing selective logging.  Selective logging has become the ultimate benefit in order to preserve nature and get the most lumber also.  By logging only certain trees in the forrest, other trees are able to get more light and grow faster and healthier.  The ecosystem is unaffected and tree services are able to get the lumber they need.  The inventory of redwoods has started to increase for the first time in centuries due to selective logging. 

Logging redwood trees was a bigger business than gold during the 1800’s as early tree services were able to get an abundant amount of lumber from the trees.  It has remained a big business to the point that the California and Federal government paid $480 million to a logging company in the 1990’s to keep the redwood forrest, mainly Headwaters Grove, preserved. 

These magnificent trees are the tallest organisms on Earth towering to over 350 feet high.  Although it is said that before the last ice age redwood dominated the western hemisphere, they now are found only along the California coastline.  Some of the redwoods still there today have been around for several hundred years, and with the new practices being done by logging companies, these valuable resources appear to be here to stay.