There’s a new World’s Tallest tree — actually there’s three. A team of researchers along California’s north coast discovered three Redwood giants all over 370 feet tall while bushwacking through unknown coastal redwood forests. The current title holder, The Stratosphere Giant (also a coastal Redwood) tops out at 370 feet but now will fall to the world’s 4th tallest tree after Hyperion (378.1 ft.), Helios (376.3 ft.) and Icarus (371.2 ft.).
Redwood experts say the discovery is a bit surprising considering that so much of the state’s redwood forests have been logged. Although officials decline to pinpoint the exact locations of the tall trees, the stand found by Atkins and fellow amateur naturalist Michael Taylor were protected less than 30 years ago by an expansion of the national park’s boundary.
Keeping the location slightly mysterious is due mainly to limiting the environment from hoardes of RV’s and tourists (I mean, jeez, look what happened to Yellowstone and Yosemite). But its also a fairly remote location, one that is still relatively untouched.
Other locations haven’t been so lucky. The Nanning Creek watershed was home to Redwoods over 200 years old and sitting in an untouched ecosystem full of biodiversity. Now, trees are being cut and the logging plan will take every marketable “vertical timber” from the forest.
There’s more good news: scientists have found a stand of the once-thought extinct American Chestnut tree in Georgia. This single stand somehow escaped the blight that wiped out the most prevalent tree species in the eastern half of the United States back in the 1900s. Maybe we’ll actually have some chestnuts roasting on an open fire next year…
Here’s to bringing back extinct species and keeping the ones we have intact.