Founders Tree

Founders Tree

The drive from Bodega Bay, California on Highway 1 to Garberville, California has been described as “white knuckled.” Indeed, the twisting road with hairpin curves that require speeds from 10 to 30 miles per hour requires some serious driving. After connecting with the 101 we detoured for the 32-mile stretch of road known as the “Avenue of the Giants.” This road meanders through Humboldt Redwoods State Park, the largest remaining old-growth redwood forest in the world. Some 52,000 acres include the tallest trees on Earth. Some are 370 feet high! The Sinkyone people inhabited this area. This native tribe speaks a language in the Athab ascan language family. Their name is derived from a word for South Fork of the Eel River. We made three stops. The first stop, in Pioneers Grove, recognizes 10 pioneers from 1857-60. This site needs to add as a toilet because toilet paper can be found behind most of the trees. Our second stop was at the Visitor Center where we walked the Gould Grove Nature Loop Trail and ate lunch. We learned about the burls, hundreds of cloned dormant buds that might be activated by stress from fire, injury, or if the tree topples.Our last stop was Founders Grove. The Founders Tree has the following impressive statistics: 346.1 feet high, 12.7 feet in diqameter, 40.0 feet in circumference, and 190.4 feet to its first lower limb. We also saw the Dyerville Giant which was recognized as a “Champion” Coaast Redwood as certified by the American Foresters Association until it fell on March24, 1991. Before it fell, it was at least 362 feet tall and lived for about 1600 years. It is 17 feet in diameter, 52 feet in circumference, and probably weighs a million pounds. Redwoods are so immense that they live in three climatic zones at once. The base, stem, and crown exist in separate climatic conditions. We thank the prominent men from Humboldt and Del Norte counties who formed the Save-the-Redwoods League in 1917 and advocated the preservation of representative areas of primeval forests. Redwoods are awe inspiring trees!

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