Revealing the Locations of the Largest and Tallest Redwoods

1      Secret Redwoods Locations

 

I made my first visit to the coast redwoods parks in 2014.   I was always interested in the tall redwoods but really didn’t feel an urge to visit the parks until the point in time the tallest redwood tree was named but its location was kept secret.  The treasure hunt, if you will, intrigued me.

The book The Wild Trees, with its descriptions of the known and secret redwood trees and groves, certainly added interest as did the web sites and forums hinting about the location of Hyperion and the Atlas Grove and the Grove of Titans.

To be honest if the location of Hyperion was on a web site in 2014, I would not have traveled to the redwood parks.  Maybe I would have made it to the redwoods at some point in time in the same way I still want to visit Yosemite or the Giant Sequoia Groves or Yellowstone or the Little Big Horn area but maybe not.  It was the secrecy, the puzzle, and the treasure hunt that got me there.

Thanks for reading.

Sworn Statement

1      Sworn Statement

 

This is a sworn statement by Mark Edward Graham, as made on February 14, 2018.

I, Mark Edward Graham, have no current or past association or affiliation with the owners and contributors to the web site famousrewoods.com, and I have not knowingly provided any tree locations, photography, or data to the owners and contributors to the web site famousredwoods.com.

I, Mark Edward Graham, certify under penalty of perjury in any state of the United States, including Illinois and California, that the information provided herein is true and correct to the best of my knowledge.

Coast Redwood – The 100 Meter Tree

1      100 Meter Trees

For trees, a 100 meter height is very unusual.  In the recent past the coast redwood, Douglas fir, Austral eucalyps, and possibly some tropical hardwoods had extant trees over 100 meters.   However in the present day all documented living trees over 100 meters in height are coast redwoods.

For coast redwoods, a 100 meter height is uncommon but not rare.  Humboldt Redwoods State Park contains the greatest number of very tall trees, concentrated along the Eel River south fork and Bull Creek.  There is good public information on the height of individual tree crowns in this area, originating in LiDAR point cloud data.   In HRSP there are about 300 hectares with demonstrated 100 meter redwoods, with an average density of about four 100 meter trees per hectare.  So that results in about 1,200 redwood trees in HRSP above 100 meters in height.

Then each of the other redwood parks with many tall trees (Redwood National Park, Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park) likely have a similar number of 100 meter redwood trees, but there isn’t enough public data to develop definitive counts.

So among the four large parks, then adding in trees from Montgomery Woods and a few other locations, there are likely around 5,000 coast redwood trees with heights above 100 meters, and 0 trees that are not coast redwoods with heights above 100 meters.

 

 

2      Tallest Coast Redwoods

 

Based on extensive measurement and point cloud analysis it was determined a nice round number to differentiate the tallest redwoods is 350 feet (106.7 meters), with about 225 trees above this height cutoff.   That’s a pretty big drop from the 5,000 or more redwood trees over 100 meters in height.

Although there are many 100 meter trees in Prairie Creek and Jedediah Smith, the 350 foot (106.7 meter) redwood trees are concentrated in Humboldt Redwoods and Redwood National Park (from Michael Taylor 2013 list):

 

Humboldt Redwood State Park:  160 trees 350+

Redwood National Park:  36 trees 350+

Montgomery Redwoods State Reserve:  17 trees 350+

Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park:  9 trees 350+

Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park:  3 trees 350+

Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park:  1 tree 350+

The redwoods above 350 feet continue to be measured for height changes.  Some are measured annually versus others might be measured every ten years.

There are a few new 350 foot trees found each year, as the “349 footers” grow into 350 feet or a new LiDAR flyover identifies some trees that were missed previously.

 

3      350 Foot Trees – Height Changes and Group Substitution Rate

 

There is a published Tall Trees list from 2000, and then these same trees can be compared to the 2013 list, to see the 13 year growth rates among the trees.   All the trees on the 2000 list are also on the 2013 list, though three of these trees have fallen since 2013.

For trees on 2000 list, height change to 2013:

Gained height – 110 trees, average height increase 3.0 inches per year

Lost Height – 12 trees, average height loss 1.3 inches per year

In the past year three trees from the 2000 list fell (all in Humboldt).

Looking at the LiDAR data for Humboldt redwoods, there are about 42 trees in 2013 that were between 347 and 350 feet in height.  Based on the 2000 – 2013 results 4 or so of these trees will lose height over the next decade, versus 38 or so will increase height, at a rate of 3 inches per year.  That allows a calculation for the new 350 foot “grow in” trees for Humboldt each year:

  • 38 trees above 347 feet growing to 350 feet
  • Assuming heights are uniformly distributed, this results in 12.7 height bands (38 trees, 3 inches per year per tree).
  • Then taking the 38 trees divided by the 12.7 height bands that results in 3 new 350 foot trees in Humboldt each year based on height growth.
  • Then based on the ratio of tall trees between parks there would be one additional 350 foot tree each year in another redwood park, likely in Redwood National Park.

The 350 foot list grow in rate appears to be above the loss rate  from height reduction and tree fall but time will tell.    For sure there likely will be three to four new 350 foot trees each year.

This redwood , Big Log on Harper Flat, added seven feet in height between 2000 and 2013. It was among the fastest growing in height during that  time period.

 

Federation Grove point cloud data,  arranged to show all tree crowns over 100 meters (purple dots).  There are around 250 such redwood crowns in this grove!

 

Thanks for reading.