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Redwood Super Trees And The Promise Of A New World Forest

Updated on February 10, 2013
From zero to 150 ft tall and 30 ft diameters in just 136 years.
From zero to 150 ft tall and 30 ft diameters in just 136 years. | Source

Washington County Courthouse Giant Sequoia Redwood Trees in Oregon: A Tree Lesson Worth Learning

The picture tells a tree story. These are the Washington County Court House Giant Sequoia Redwood trees planted in 1880 at the age of 3 year old seedlings. Today they stand at 150 ft tall or more with diameters up to 30 ft at human breast height. As of the date the photo was taken the trees are just 136 years old and they can live up to a couple of thousand of years if they are allowed by nature and humans to keep growing. More photos of these trees appear at the end of this article. It is actually pretty amazing that any living thing can grow this tall and wide in just 136 years. Had these trees been spaced a bit further apart and away from the buildings casting shadows in the city of Hillsboro , Oregon , they could have grown much larger and taller in the same time span. The range of Coast Redwood Trees and Giant Sequoia Trees today in the world is pretty much limited to Northern California and Southern Oregon but it used to be different. These trees used to cover much of Europe , Asia and parts of North America going back thousands and thousand of years. When I was at Paris Disneyland I Noticed that some of both the coast redwood trees and the giant sequoias were imported to France and were growing exceptionally well. In someways I noticed they were growing even better than I see them grow in Oregon. I made note of that because at first i had thought they were Disney plastic versions of the real thing their foliage seemed to be unreal and too perfect but they were indeed alive and real. After that I started mapping out areas of Western Europe From The Low lands to that part of France and found they would make a perfect new forest that would yield enormous trees in just 100 years. My plan would be to offer seedlings to be planted at least 50---100 ft apart to allow grazing and other agricultural uses to go on as the tiny seedlings get established. They would not grow together like a forest canopy like these in Oregon have for at least 50 years. Proper spacing would allow trees to grow much faster without having to compete with each other for sun light. In windier low lying areas the trees might need to be planted closer together to form wind breaks or have intervals of wind breaks planted.

It also occured to me that the same sort of Forests would probably become super forests in parts of China and in China deforested mountainous areas would do just as well so long as the climate was in their favor. I have not mapped out areas of China yet but I know they would live there because the Dawn Redwood , which is diciduous is native to a somewhat colder part of China. These forest projects would lead to valuable future forest resources as redwood is one of the most resistant to insect damage and fungus. Almost nothing can kill a redwood tree. Some will grow back from the roots and live on even after being cut down so it maybe that some could prove to be immortal. Red wood trees have survived major forest fires to continue living on often because their thick bark is good insulation against burning though. Growing trees a significant distance apart leaves land available for other uses including grazing and leads to firewood production after approximately 20 years and that would allow for timber to grow like skyscrapers into the sky with plenty of economic benefit for the investment of a hundred years or more. The trees in the photos are both pruned and have lost lower branches which would have been of substantial size some of which capable of economic utilization .

My proposal is more of a sort of agricultural factory and the reestablishment of a type of tree that lost it's position as a major world forest possibly just because of the destructive forces of the ice age coming on. Growing trees commercially in Oregon is certainly a possibility and is happening mostly in the south western part of the state where the trees are deemed to be native. They are actually native but lost in many parts of the world and are very much worth re-indroduction. Certainly care has to be taken not to totally transform the landscape of parts of Europe and China but they would hardly be noticed from a distance even if they do rise to be 400 ft tall in places. There is an entire lost economy that would be of great benefit everywhere these would be re-introduced. Some areas would need to have a few test trees planted in advance before major planting programs. The trees can be purchased in vast numbers selected from the best stock of trees growing and can even be selected from different locations to suit variable climates in different new locations. The cost of seedling can be under a dollar each. Imagine growing $1 into a tree with enough wood in it to build a single family american style home in it in about 80 years. That might be a worthy investment compared to other types of long long term investments? Planting the trees a significant distance apart from 50-100 ft allows other agricultural uses and eventual firewood and mulch production after around 25 years so it is quite possible a fabulous investment growing them. If you compound $1 at a ten percent return over 100 years you get $13,780.61 as your return for that dollar. If these trees can be cut down in 100 years and yield $20,000 in lumber per tree (not sure they can but maybe?) then they are a much better investment than most industrial investments and that $20,000 may not include other economic benefits such as mulch, grazing of the land, other corps and firewood that can be harvested before 100 years passes. I really do recommend people consider redwood trees as a great future forest re-established from the past and as a sublime economic investment. Governments and farmers should consider investing. At that kind of rate of return over the long term it is worth paying $2 a tree or more actually. The better stock used and the better the horticultural advice taken in the beginning the better the long term rewards are. I am tempted to offer my services if anyone is actually interested overseas. I have learned growing my own redwood trees how to force feed them to get them growing even faster and how to establish them while young to nurture and protect them till they take off on their own

Redwood trees are not the only trees I have worked with but they are one of my favorite one. There are other excellent American trees worth planting overseas. Apparently the Douglas Fir Tree does exceptionally well in forests as far east as Germany. The full potential of Redwood trees is really something worth trying because they historically, in prehistoric times were a major forest tree around the world. Few trees grow as tall or wide as fast with a huge life span ahead of them.


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    • profile image

      Lex Loeb 

      5 years ago

      I am a pratical tree grower. What I forgot to mention in the article is that the debris from these trees and the firewood to get to this 136 year old size can out produce the energy from a solar panel farm covering the same area. It is a more efficent solar energy farm than any of these electronic gizmos and it is capable of surviving the vavages of water and wind and uses those to its advantage. I cannot do an exact calculation except to say in about 20 years most solar panels used outside of outerspace where water and other weathering factors get to them as well as oxidation partly due to solar exposure and then need replacing. These trees automatically renew themselves so long as there is no insect infestation that harms them and no major drought. These trees are not much affected by boring insects because of the pungent oil in the woods. For about $20 per acre I can do more good than 1 million dollars per acre of the highest quality solar panels. Now that is only if i start with tiny seedlings. It is possible to get larger older seedlings and invest maybe $100 per acre and jump start things in the calculations. There are other types of trees woth considering depending on the location. One type might be the western red cedar. It is the tree from which shingles come from. It is almost as resistent to everything as the redwood and it can grow in somewhat colder locations at higher elevations.

    • mecheshier profile image


      5 years ago

      Fabulous Hub. Great info. Hey, have you read To Fell the Giants by Bill Hotchkiss? A must read if you love Redwood trees


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