Although the Californian Redwoods are not a preferred wood used in guitar making, I thought I would share some interesting facts about these amazing trees. Like most trees in the past and also present, forests all over he world have been raped and abused for so called ‘economic’ reasons. The photos below were before preservation was a real problem, but the felling of these magnificent trees at that time sparked concern and activists began to take action.
The redwood tree became California’s official state tree in 1937. There are two species of the California redwood: the coast redwood and the giant sequoia. These evergreen trees are the tallest trees in the world and can live for more than 2,200 years.
Redwood trees existed before dinosaurs roamed the Earth. The redwoods used to grow all over the northern hemisphere, including the Arctic, but now grow naturally on the Pacific Coast of the United States. Many of these trees are now found in protected areas, such as parks and forests. The foggy, humid conditions coupled with moderate temperatures is what allows the California redwood trees to flourish in the area. The trees grow tall and straight and thrive in the mountainous regions of the coast.
Although the coast redwood and the giant sequoia are in the same family, the trees have several differences. The coast redwoods grow much taller than the sequoia trees, but the sequoias are much larger in diameter. The coast redwoods live considerably longer; some remain standing after more than 2,000 years. The average life of sequoias is 600 years.
The California redwoods, which can reach 350 feet, are the tallest trees in the world. The tallest known redwood, named Hyperion, stands 378 feet tall and was found in 2008. Hyperion is in Redwood National Park, near Eureka, California.
The redwood trees are evergreen trees with long, straight needles. At the canopy of the tree, the needles are about 1 inch in length and green. The trees are both male and female because they produce both cones. The male cones are oblong shaped and the females are egg shaped. The trees reproduce sexually and asexually. Redwoods reproduce asexually by sprouting on tree stumps. The bark can be up to 1-foot thick and appears gray in color as it ages. The reddish brown color appears on newly exposed bark.
The California redwood trees lumber is resistant to decay, mold and fire. This makes the beautiful redwood lumber valuable timber to be used for railroad ties, decking and furniture. The redwood trees are successfully cultivated for lumber in other sections of the world, such as Texas, New Zealand and Italy.
Julia Lorraine Hill (known as Julia “Butterfly” Hill, born February 18, 1974) is an American environmental activist and tax redirection advocate. She is best known for having lived in a 180-foot (55 m)-tall, roughly 1500-year-old California Redwood tree (age based on first-hand ring count of a slightly smaller neighboring ancient redwood that had been cut down) for 738 days between December 10, 1997 and December 18, 1999. Hill lived in the tree, affectionately known as “Luna”, to prevent Pacific Lumber Company loggers from cutting it down. The redwood was 1,000 years old. Hill came down only after she and other organizations negotiated a pact with the Pacific Lumber Company. Luna, and 3 acres surrounding the tree, continue to be protected from destruction because of the pact. She is the author of the book The Legacy of Luna and co-author of One Makes the Difference. She is a vegan.