Standing Tall - For Now

California's redwoods and giant sequoia have survived a very long time without us -- and in spite of us.

But now the surviving forests of these most massive living things on the planet (like the General Sherman sequoia at left) face new pressures from a changing climate and lack of snowmelt. My latest story in Sierra Magazine takes a look at the future of  these ancient trees, and at what an adventurous band of researchers and students are doing about it:
There's something about being near a mature coast redwood, its spire impossibly tall, or a broad sequoia, with its lava flow of soft, knobby bark, that evokes a visceral response. It's less like viewing a tree and more like stumbling on a geologic wonder, an arboreal version of the Grand Canyon or Niagara Falls. People use their library voices while walking among redwoods. Maybe it's being in the presence of something that can outlive 50 human generations--a single tree, standing now in the Sierra Nevada, born during the Bronze Age, and whose grandfather shed its cocoa-colored cones before recorded history.... read more