Talk to the ranger, part 2

Not marine mammals but trees this time: 

There are the coastal redwoods (sequoia sempervirens), they grow all along in the California’s coastal region and the giant sequoias (sequoiadendron giganteum) that only grow in the eastern slopes of the Sierra (there are some groves in Yosemite and the of course in Sequoia national park, which is all about it). 

The coastal redwood is higher, growing up to 100m, it grows in families and reproduces mostly by sprouting from roots of an existing tree. In At Henry Cowell states park close to Santa Cruz they have a albino redwood, lacking chlorophyll the thing cannot live by its own and only survives because it grows on another redwood tree that provides ig with nutrition. Their cones are very tiny, maybe the size of a larch’ pine.

The giant sequoia is less tall but fatter in general, the trunks grow up to 10m in diameter. There cones are larger (but still tiny). The leaves are very different too, so is the overall tree’s shape. Both trees are well adapted to fire, they have a very thick bark that protects them and they need occasional wildfire to clear out the bush and brushwood to allow them to prosper. The giant sequoia needs the fires to reproduce. The fire cracks the cones open and sets the seeds free. If they fall on too much brushwood and pine needles they cannot reach their nutrition, only when they fall on recently burnt grounds they can sprout. That is why suppressing all wildfires was actually harmful to the Sequoia population. In Yosemite they let fires burn now as long as they do not threaten human structures and they believe them to be of a natural cause. Sometimes they even set controlled fires. 


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