California redwood trees are among the largest living beings in existence, and one of the oldest to boot. They can reach heights of more than 350 feet, and some specimens have been alive since the days of the Roman Empire.
Redwood trees are so named because of their bark, which is soft and reddish-brown. The wood itself is fibrous and extremely strong.
Scientists believe that redwoods could once be found all over the world. The global climate has shifted in the past few million years to severely restrict their current habitat: a 450-mile stretch of coastline between Monterey Bay and Oregon.
Redwood trees tend to grow quickly, provided the conditions are right. Coast redwoods tend to grow at a rate of 5 to 7 feet a year, while giant sequoias grow about 2 feet per year.
Redwood trees have few natural enemies. Insects rarely harm them, and they are exceedingly resistant to fungus and other forms of rot.
The biggest redwood in the world--by volume--is a tree known as General Sherman in Sequoia National Park. The tallest tree in the world is a coast redwood named Hyperion, located in Redwood National Park.
Article Written By Robert Vaux
Robert Vaux has been a professional writer and editor since 1995. He has traveled throughout Europe and North America as well as parts of North Africa. Since 2000 he has been a professional movie critic at Flipside Movie Emporium, the Sci-Fi Movie Page and Mania.com. Vaux has a Master of Arts in English literature from Syracuse University.