Today is Arbor Day, so it's fitting to spotlight what for many is the ultimate tree: the giant redwood. For those who have had the chance to visit a redwood grove, there are few life experiences that match it. These California trees can reach higher than a 30-floor skyscraper — so high that the tops are out of sight.
Their trunks can grow 24 feet wide, so big that it would take 13 adults holding hands to encircle. Even more incredible: These trees can live for more than 2,000 years. Some coast redwoods living today were alive during the time of the Roman Empire.
My league colleagues and I will occasionally be available on the explore.org comment forum to answer your questions live and to elaborate on what you are seeing, so connect with us on Facebook or Twitter to receive updates.
Want to visit these redwoods and others in person this summer? Using the league's enhanced Redwoods Finder interactive map, you can locate a redwood park and find out what to do there. You can use the map to learn about camping, hiking, hidden gems, must-see features, fun facts and more. Your trip will be unforgettable, and you'll show your support for these magical forests.
Redwood forests need our help. Today, there are still ancient redwoods slated for cutting that need to be protected. Redwoods already protected in state and national parks also face threats such as devastating government budget cuts. These reductions close parks, leaving no personnel to protect redwoods from threats such as illegal logging.
So join me to help the redwoods — start by getting to know them through our live webcam!
Emily Burns, Ph.D., is director of science for the nonprofit Save the Redwoods League in San Francisco.
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