Monday, October 14, 2013

The Biggest Trees On Earth

The planet Earth is filled with fascinating and majestic creatures of all shapes and sizes, from large to small, denizens of the animal kingdom never cease to amaze and captivate scientists, writers and artist. But animals are nothing compared to what the kingdom of plants has to offer. Some plantae have great colorful flowers, some live in the sea, some are poisonous or carnivorous, but only one can live to be 2000 years old and 115 meters (377 feet) tall – the Sequoia Sempervirens, meaning “forever living”, but they’re commonly called the Coast Redwoods.

Coast Redwoods are Conifers (cone bearing), and like the well-known Pine and Spruce, their leaves are needles, and are kept year round. The west coast of the United States (though they’ve been found all around the country) provides the optimal climate for these massive trees. With moderate year round temperature and humid conditions, these trees flourish in coastal northern California and southern Oregon, but that’s not all – frequent summer fogs play a vital role for the Redwood, which I’ll touch on later.

How do the Coast Redwoods get so big? Water, lots and lots of water. All types of plants on Earth need water, for four basic reasons. Firstly, germination (making seeds), secondly photosynthesis, thirdly nutrient transfer, and lastly transpiration – these actions in trees reaching 100 meters tall require exponentially more water than your average oak.

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