Coast Redwood vs Giant Sequoia

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John Harvey
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Coast Redwood vs Giant Sequoia

Post by John Harvey » Thu Jun 30, 2016 11:02 pm

For some reason after living here for a year and a half and making over 12 trips to the northern Redwood parks 7 hours away, I decided to finally drive 4 hours and see Sequoia National Park. I have no clue why I put this off for so long. After seeing "almost" every known Redwood of significant size, knowing that only 6 Giant Sequoia were larger than the largest redwoods and falling in love with the dizzying heights, I didn't see it as a priority. Boy did I have it coming.

I'll be as clear as I can in this statement. The Sequoias are larger. On average they are WAY larger and more imposing. The Redwoods hide much of their volume in places the Sequoia can not reach, places you can't easily see from the ground. The largest Sequoias know no taper. They almost seem to get larger as they rise, as strange as it sounds. If you are in the presence of a 20,000cu Redwood you are looking at maybe one of the 40-50 largest. For a GS, this seems common. There are 30 measured, including Zane Moore's finds, that exceed 25,000cu. Let me tell you there seem to be quite a few more than that. I spotted at least 5 I am convinced are over that and are not on any map and having my toddlers with me, I didn't venture too far off any trails or roads. 20,000cu is simply common there over a smaller range. Most of the Sequoias hold all this volume while being between 230' and 260' tall as opposed to the Redwoods 300'-350'. That makes them look extremely large, WTF large. A similar phenomenon is why my favorite redwood, the Arco Giant looks so large, 265' tall with a great bole.

In closing, before I share photos. As a forest I prefer the Coast Redwoods, big, lush, and tall. This is the greatest forest in the world. For a sheer wow factor, I prefer the Sequoias. Another factor to consider is foot traffic. The Sequoias are mobbed all the time. I swear The President, The General Grant, and The General Sherman have people at their bases 3/4 of their existence at this point. Dozens of people at a time even on the weekdays. The President needs a fence or a boardwalk or it is doomed.

I'm going nameless on these photos. Some are the largest trees on earth, some are un-named.
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The President 72ft6in.JPG
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Chief Sequoia 64ft10in.JPG
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John D Harvey (JohnnyDJersey)

East Coast and West Coast Big Tree Hunter

"If you look closely at a tree you'll notice it's knots and dead branches, just like our bodies. What we learn is that beauty and imperfection go together wonderfully." - Matt Fox

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Don
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Re: Coast Redwood vs Giant Sequoia

Post by Don » Fri Jul 01, 2016 12:34 am

John-
While I'm a native Californian, I haven't lived there since 1984. That said, if you're a tree guy, California's not a bad place to be. Wildernesses were my Forestry labs at Humboldt, and living in the redwoods was a blessing. Your visits there seemed epic. And your most recent visit to the Giant Sequoias were righteously eye-opening, yes?!

For other reasons, I spend a week every year for the last 20 at 5300-7000 in the Sierras in the midst of the classic mixed conifer old-growth, probably my favorite forest, yes even over the Sequoias or the coast redwoods. And every other year or so, I throw in the Bristlecone/Foxtail Pine forests along Hiway 395 in the White Mtns./Sierras, respectively. This year is the year I'll double down, weather permitting, and do both.

I have a few images readily at hand (although the first goes back to 1989, from a 12-day Sierra Nevada wilderness romp): starting with
1) a 'run of the mill' western juniper...one of many, all spaced quite widely apart, and clearly in the 1000 or more year old age class. Clearly today's digital cameras have an advantage,
2) a Foxtail Pine reaching for the sky, along the trail from Horseshoe Meadows to Cottonwood Pass (9000' to 11000), and
3) a Bristlecone Pine (background) with an aluminum tag on the back numbered "00"...

TIme to get back among them!
-Don
At the edge of Hoover Wilderness...
At the edge of Hoover Wilderness...
Probably about 10,000, in Foxtail/Lodgepole Pine forest...
Probably about 10,000, in Foxtail/Lodgepole Pine forest...
Around 12,000', White Mtns., Bristlecone "National Forest"
Around 12,000', White Mtns., Bristlecone "National Forest"
Don Bertolette - President/Moderator, WNTS BBS
Restoration Forester (Retired)
Science Center
Grand Canyon National Park

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John Harvey
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Re: Coast Redwood vs Giant Sequoia

Post by John Harvey » Fri Jul 01, 2016 1:10 am

Don,

Great shots. This is a realm I have not explored yet. One of the things that makes this state so great is how many different environments there are. In New Jersey we had deciduous forest, southern oak and pine forest, pine barrens and more but in California (partly because of the size) there are so many more different types of forest. The elevation plays as much of a factor in this as the size of the state does. In three hours of driving I encountered at least 5 different types of forest as well as temperatures ranging from 105 degrees near Fresno to 52 degrees in Santa Cruz. Being just north of Monterey I have the luxury of being a field trip away from any climate or forest the state has to offer. I miss the great broadleaves of the east in the same way I miss NJ. It is what I knew as home, even if what I have here is far better and more exciting. Nothing an occasional visit can't fix.
John D Harvey (JohnnyDJersey)

East Coast and West Coast Big Tree Hunter

"If you look closely at a tree you'll notice it's knots and dead branches, just like our bodies. What we learn is that beauty and imperfection go together wonderfully." - Matt Fox

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Don
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Re: Coast Redwood vs Giant Sequoia

Post by Don » Fri Jul 01, 2016 1:38 am

Not long ago, I had the time to indulge in a long held wish to cross the central Sierras on four roads that cross back and forth between Hiway 49 and 395. Taking 120 across Yosemite, then 108 across Sonora Pass, then 4 across Monitor Pass, and 88 across Carson Pass, with 50 across Luther Pass, you get spectacular access to the Pacific Crest Trail at 7700 to 8600' elevations...and most of it protected wilderness! Can be done in a long day, but wouldn't be doing it justice...but for a recon...; ~ }
-Don
Don Bertolette - President/Moderator, WNTS BBS
Restoration Forester (Retired)
Science Center
Grand Canyon National Park

BJCP Apprentice Beer Judge

View my Alaska Big Tree List Webpage at:
http://www.akbigtreelist.org

yinghai
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Re: Coast Redwood vs Giant Sequoia

Post by yinghai » Fri Jul 01, 2016 11:55 am

Don wrote:Not long ago, I had the time to indulge in a long held wish to cross the central Sierras on four roads that cross back and forth between Hiway 49 and 395. Taking 120 across Yosemite, then 108 across Sonora Pass, then 4 across Monitor Pass, and 88 across Carson Pass, with 50 across Luther Pass, you get spectacular access to the Pacific Crest Trail at 7700 to 8600' elevations...and most of it protected wilderness! Can be done in a long day, but wouldn't be doing it justice...but for a recon...; ~ }
-Don
I've done 120 on the way to Eastern Sierra and 108 on the way back. We didn't spend much time stopping along 108 but the drive itself through the pine forest was amazing!
--
Yinghai

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sradivoy
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Re: Coast Redwood vs Giant Sequoia

Post by sradivoy » Fri Jul 01, 2016 7:00 pm

If you like single stem trees the Giant Sequoia is the superior tree. If you like unusual shaped trees the Coast Redwood is hard to beat. Both are amazing trees to behold! There's nothing quite like the deep guttural call of a flock of Ravens flying amongst the Giant Sequoias. Many wonderful prehistoric impressions I get from these remarkable trees.

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F.Jakobsson
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Re: Coast Redwood vs Giant Sequoia

Post by F.Jakobsson » Tue Jul 05, 2016 4:04 am

John Harvey wrote:...The Redwoods hide much of their volume in places the Sequoia can not reach, places you can't easily see from the ground. The largest Sequoias know no taper. They almost seem to get larger as they rise, as strange as it sounds...Most of the Sequoias hold all this volume while being between 230' and 260' tall as opposed to the Redwoods 300'-350'. That makes them look extremely large, WTF large. A similar phenomenon is why my favorite redwood, the Arco Giant looks so large, 265' tall with a great bole.


John,

Arco Giant's counterpart in Sierra Nevada would be Franklin. At 224 ft the shortest of the 25 largest giant sequoias, but a 40,000+ cu ft trunk makes it one of the 10 largest. The impact upon seeing this tree may result in an exclaim of your aforementioned three-letter acronym, a photo in Flint speaks more than words. This uncelebrated tree is not marked on the Park's Giant Forest Trail Map, but a halved president is looming through the leaves...

Fredrik

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DAKennedy
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Re: Coast Redwood vs Giant Sequoia

Post by DAKennedy » Tue Jul 05, 2016 12:24 pm

John,

I can not believe that I have never gotten the opportunity to go to the Sequoias, despite living here in CA my entire life. The trees look spectacular, and are on my bucket list.

I've never even been to Calaveras Big Trees S.P, despite it being a mere 3 1/2 hours from my house. Then again, maybe it's my parents...

Although I've only got a few years before I can drive a car.

- Duncan
Duncan Kennedy
Student; UNR Environmental Sci.
Tree Measurer.

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Don
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Re: Coast Redwood vs Giant Sequoia

Post by Don » Tue Jul 05, 2016 8:12 pm

Duncan-
Well, among the many worthy sites, on your way down to the Sequoias, stop in and check out:
http://www.savetheredwoods.org/project/ ... p-project/
...it's not a redwood or a giant sequoia, but among junipers, it's king!
According to Wikipedia [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bennett_Juniper],
"The Bennett Juniper is the largest known juniper tree in America.[1] It is located on a privately owned nature preserve within Stanislaus National Forest in Tuolumne County, California. Its height is 78 feet with an average crown spread of 56 feet. The diameter at breast height (4.5 feet above ground) is 12.7 feet. This gives it a total of 573 points by the American Forests formula for measuring “Big Trees” and determining the champions"
The 'mountain junipers' that grace the Pacific Crest, particularly between Tuolomne Meadows and Donner Pass are prime examples of those exhibiting old-growth characteristics.
As to whether the following images are Juniperus occidentalis or Juniperus occidentalis australus, I'll let those who know, decide...here are some at the "intersection of Hiway 108 and the Pacific Crest":
DSCN1840.jpg
DSCN1842ACJ.jpg
DSCN1841ACJ.jpg
Don Bertolette - President/Moderator, WNTS BBS
Restoration Forester (Retired)
Science Center
Grand Canyon National Park

BJCP Apprentice Beer Judge

View my Alaska Big Tree List Webpage at:
http://www.akbigtreelist.org

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John Harvey
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Re: Coast Redwood vs Giant Sequoia

Post by John Harvey » Wed Jul 06, 2016 1:49 am

Duncan,
Just keep following your dreams man. You have a ton of years ahead of you. I spent a good portion of the 1first 10 years after I was an adult believing I couldn't do things or believing I had to stay where I was or date who I was dating. Now days I drive that 3 and a half hours every other week or fly where ever I want just because I can and I want to. You will have that opportunity too. Work hard and follow your dreams, if your dreams rest among the largest of trees...point your sails in that direction. Someday Sequoia NP may seem like your back yard, or maybe even be your back yard.
John D Harvey (JohnnyDJersey)

East Coast and West Coast Big Tree Hunter

"If you look closely at a tree you'll notice it's knots and dead branches, just like our bodies. What we learn is that beauty and imperfection go together wonderfully." - Matt Fox

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