California redwoods are Earth's tallest trees. In 2006, according to National Geographic, the tallest redwood yet discovered was measured at 379.1 feet. The Statue of Liberty is 305 feet high.
The redwood's thick tannin-rich bark is both termite and fire-resistant. Its branches bear two sets of differently-shaped needles and olive-sized cones. Neighboring trees intertwine their shallow roots to provide stability.
According to the National Parks Service, some California redwoods are in their third millennium. Most of the old-growth trees, however, are between 500 and 700 years old.
California redwoods and giant sequoias aren't the same; they're closely related but distinct varieties of the Sequoia tree species. Although giant sequoias are shorter, their enormous girth makes them the world's largest trees by volume.
Mighty oaks may grow from tiny acorns, but California redwoods have even humbler beginnings from seeds the size of tomato seeds. They also send up root sprouts, enabling them to reproduce even after fire destroys their seed cones.