Giant Redwoods in Unprecedented Growth Spurt

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Rand
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Giant Redwoods in Unprecedented Growth Spurt

Post by Rand » Wed Aug 14, 2013 8:44 pm

The last of the giant, old-growth redwood trees along the California coast have experienced an unprecedented growth spurt in recent years, a study by the Redwoods and Climate Change Initiative revealed Wednesday. Over the past century, the trees produced more wood than over any other period in their lifetime, accelerating in the last few decades after a slowdown in the 1950s and 1960s.

"It shows these trees are being impacted by something in the environment," Emily Burns, director of science for Save the Redwoods League, the San Francisco nonprofit that is managing the initiative, told the San Francisco Chronicle. "Our hypothesis is that it's because it is warmer. That lengthens the growth season."

Researchers believe the changes are due to an increased level of sunshine—as fog became less common along the coast—and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. While rainfall has kept the forests wet, fog and cloud cover has decreased by 33 percent from the 20th century, according to a 2010 study.

"What we're seeing is that the redwoods are growing even better as the fog has declined," Burns said. "It's fantastic. For me this is a really hopeful story about the redwoods."

As part of the $3 million study, researchers examined 137 coast redwoods and giant sequoias on 16 plots. Due to their efforts, the tree-ring record can now be traced back to the year 328, extending the record by more than 1,4000 years. (One tree near Crescent City, California, turned out to be 2,520 years old, breaking the previous record by more than 300 years for coast redwoods.)

Ancient redwoods may become a valuable commodity in California's carbon market because the trees store three times more carbon than other species and trap carbon even after they die.
http://www.outsideonline.com/news-from- ... Spurt.html
Last edited by Rand on Wed Aug 14, 2013 10:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Don
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Re: GIANT REDWOODS IN UNPRECEDENTED GROWTH SPURT

Post by Don » Wed Aug 14, 2013 9:58 pm

This is consistent with dendrochronological/climatological findings in northern Arizona, where the world's largest contiguous ponderosa pine forests thrived, both by virtue of a moister and warmer century, in concert with the imposition of a fire suppression strategy during the same period. Arizona is one of the states ravaged by catastrophic wildfires during the last decade or so.
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Rand
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Re: GIANT REDWOODS IN UNPRECEDENTED GROWTH SPURT

Post by Rand » Wed Aug 14, 2013 10:39 pm

Don wrote:This is consistent with dendrochronological/climatological findings in northern Arizona, where the world's largest contiguous ponderosa pine forests thrived, both by virtue of a moister and warmer century, in concert with the imposition of a fire suppression strategy during the same period. Arizona is one of the states ravaged by catastrophic wildfires during the last decade or so.
Other stories I've seen worried that the decline in the fog/cloud cover was a bad thing, so this is something of a relief that this isn't an issue yet; though it does beg the question where the limits are.

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John Harvey
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Re: Giant Redwoods in Unprecedented Growth Spurt

Post by John Harvey » Fri Aug 16, 2013 7:06 am

I'm not sure what the limit is. I do know that I've seen numerous planted redwoods here in south Jersey and they don't get big. Partially because of cold winters but mostly I think because of the VERY hot summers here that reach into the 100s for several straight days routinely. They seem to develop some sort of fungus or something. There is one in particular that is almost 80yrs old and the eastern white pine around it, planted around the same time, have far out grown it. I know were comparing native and non-native here and I'm no scientist, but continuous high heat cant be good for them in the long run.
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Rand
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Re: Giant Redwoods in Unprecedented Growth Spurt

Post by Rand » Fri Aug 16, 2013 11:55 am

JohnnyDJersey wrote:I'm not sure what the limit is. I do know that I've seen numerous planted redwoods here in south Jersey and they don't get big. Partially because of cold winters but mostly I think because of the VERY hot summers here that reach into the 100s for several straight days routinely. They seem to develop some sort of fungus or something. There is one in particular that is almost 80yrs old and the eastern white pine around it, planted around the same time, have far out grown it. I know were comparing native and non-native here and I'm no scientist, but continuous high heat cant be good for them in the long run.
Your climate must be a bit warmer than Ohio, because I've never seen coast redwood planted here. Of course it hasn't gotten really cold here since the early 90's (under -10˚F), so maybe you could start something now.

Found a few interesting comments with a quick google search:

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index ... 145AAkLyiF

As an aside. My grandparents brought a live oak seedling back from florida, and I tried to grow it in the late 80's. It would get killed back to the roots every couple of years before finally giving up after ~7 years of struggle .

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