|Three Redwood Relatives|
Redwoods are a hydrostatic marvel. They can siphon water upward to great heights, fighting gravity and friction every inch of the way. And during the dry summers in California, the coast redwoods actually create their own "rain" by condensing heavy fog into drenching showers that provide welcome moisture to the roots below.
In addition, scientists believe that redwoods take in much of their water directly from the air, through their needles and through canopy roots which the trees sprout on their branches. Lofty "soil mats" formed by trapped dust, needles, seeds and other materials act like sponges to capture the water that nurtures these canopy roots. Moisture from fog is thought to provide 30% to 40% of a redwood's water supply.
Young redwoods use sunlight so efficiently (3-4 times more than pines) that they can grow even in deep shade. But with full sunlight and moist soil, a redwood sapling can grow more than 6 feet in a single growing season!
The coast redwoods are the tallest living species on Earth. Often they can reach heights of 300-350 feet and diameters of 16-18 feet. More than a dozen trees exceeding 360 feet in height are now growing along the California coast.
The redwood's thick bark, with deep furrows running the length of the trees, is a rich reddish brown. It is this bark that gives the redwoods their excellent fire-resistant quality.
|Coast Redwood Needles|