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Unprecedented Growth Surge in Redwoods, Sequoias despite Climate Change

  • During the course of RCCI research in old-growth forests, the oldest coast redwood on record today was discovered: It is 2,520 years old. (Source: Stephen Sillett and colleagues)

“Although these are significant findings for redwood trees, it’s clear that we have more work to do to study how younger forests and the other redwood forest plant and animal species will respond to climate change,” added Burns.

Redwood Forest Canopy
Professor Stephen C. Sillett, Ph.D., studies the redwood canopy. He is among four scientists researching in the League’s Initiative to help redwoods survive rapid climate change. © Marie Antoine

The RCCI study, which will continue for at least another 10 years, has four key goals:

  • Study how climate affects the growth and survival of redwood trees of all ages (from seedlings to ancients) throughout their ranges.
  • Develop an expansive tree-ring database to study how redwood trees grew over the last millennia and how climate changed.
  • Measure carbon storage in old-growth redwood forests.
  • Track changes in plants that live in old-growth redwood forests.

Phase One of the Initiative was generously supported by Ken Fisher, Wells Fargo Foundation, the Bay Area Conservation Initiative of the Resources Legacy Fund, Sempervirens Fund, the San Francisco Foundation, Chapman Hanson Foundation, League members and the sponsors of 2013 Symposium, the Nancy Eccles and Homer M. Hayward Family Foundation.


Source: Save the Redwoods League.


About Save the Redwoods League

For more than 95 years, Save the Redwoods League has protected and restored ancient redwood forests and connected people with their peace and beauty that these wonders of the natural world will flourish. In 1850, there were nearly 2 million acres of ancient coast redwood forests in California. Today, less than 5 percent remains and faces threats from past logging, poorly planned development and global climate change. Since its founding in 1918, the League has completed the purchase of more than 189,000 acres of forestland. For more information, visit www.SaveTheRedwoods.org.