California’s Coastal Forests
By Christina Camera
Santa Ana, CA, United States
Have you ever seen a California redwood or giant sequoia in person? Imagine looking up at the tallest, largest trees on earth. You come to a forest and the trees seem to stretch up to the sky. Standing at the base of a California redwood and peering up is an awesome experience. The tallest tree in the world is a California redwood that measures almost 380 feet high!
The diameters of these giants are also amazingly huge. Some of them measure 50 feet in diameter, because they have been growing since the days of Roman Empire. That means they are between 2,400 and 2,700 years old.
Another colossal type of tree is called the giant sequoia. One of these, known as the General Sherman Tree, is the largest tree in the world, measured by volume. It is 275 feet tall and has a circumference at the ground of almost 103 feet!
How Does This Happen?
These two tree species, the redwood and the giant sequoia, are the tallest and largest living plants on earth, respectively. That they both live in the forests of Northern California is no coincidence. The region’s coastal fog supports their growth and water needs during warm, dry months.
This unique environment makes a great home for many types of plants and animals. You can find these animals, to name just a few:
- gray foxes
- black bears
- spotted owls
Even if you’ve not visited Northern California, the area might look familiar to you if you’ve seen Jurassic Park II: The Lost World. A fun fact about this movie is that a character met his demise in prehistoric-looking Fern Canyon in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park.
No matter how old you are, everyone learns by being engaged and interested in what is before them. In writing, a hook is used to pique your interest and keep you reading. People learn best when their natural curiosity is stirred, and what better way to do this than to connect with nature.
Have a suggestion for this story? We’d love for you to submit it!
Learning Activity for Early Elementary: Counting
California has laws protecting certain animals and their habitats. The spotted owl that lives in Northern California is one of them. Why are these laws a good idea? What might happen if these laws were not in place?
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