I have always loved trees ever since my parents used to take me to their fields with them. I played under their shade, climbed them and built tree houses in them. Then, I quickly discovered that not all trees were equal. Some are appreciated for the income they bring. They are the fruit trees. For a farmer or fruit grower, they help earn a living. Some of the examples are apple, nectarine, avocado, mango, peach, apricot, orange trees. Other trees are very important to forest managers, lumber managers and landscapers. One way or the other, we are all affected by trees. And our admiration for them grows for their utilitarian to decorative purposes. All of us have grown up with a tree for which we have developed some affection. Whether it's the tree of our youth or the tree we planted when we bought our first home or piece of property, trees have exacted such strong sentiments from us. By their sheer heights, branch spread and long life, Redwoods are the kinds of trees that have caught most of our attention when we travel along the coast of the Pacific Ocean. In fact, you can spot these giants along what's called the Coast Range that runs from Curry County in Oregon to Monterery County.
What should we know about the tallest of the trees in the world?
Written by Peter Johnstone and published by Heyday, Giants in the Earth: The California Redwoods is a very interesting book that most tree lovers should read. And if you are thinking about planting one of its varieties on your property, in the backyard or front yard, then you need to read this review. If you don't have a landscaper or don't live close to a plant nursery where you could eventually get some advice, then this review is for you.
Reasons why people love the coast Redwoods
The trees have beautiful bark; they are green all year long, are pest-free and fast-growing. More importantly, they are woodsy-looking and smelling. What attracts most buyers to them is the fact they are very adaptable. They will quickly adapt to and tolerate different kinds of soils and the heat. The farther away they are from the coast, the less tall they may grow. But there are always exceptions which may depend on the types of nutrition they find in the soil and water environments. Keep in mind that these overpowering trees can up to 30 feet in just 10 years. Most can surpass 355 feet in height. In other words, in less than 25 years, they can reach 70 to 90 feet. How would you like to have such trees in your back yard to give you some privacy against an intruding, peeping-tom kind of neighbor? If you plant them the right way, they can provide you with some privacy. They are good for dust control as wind breaks, for screening and insulation from noise. People who plant them don't have to wait too long to start seeing the results. In one year, they can grow from 3 to 6 feet. In fact, these are some of the reasons people buy them. Among most nursery owners and landscapers, they are bestsellers.
The Redwoods are not messy. You don't have to worry about leaves in the fall. In addition, you don't have to worry about their roots lifting the foundations of your home or garage. Their fibrous root system can't lift concrete. Two of the former universities I attended have their swimming pools surrounded by Redwoods. Most people I know plant them around theirs too. The reason is simple: These trees are not going to cause them to do expensive repair works due to cracks in the cement.
Where can you see these giants on the West Coast?
The authors of Giants in the Earth: The California Redwoods tell us where to go in California.
Welcome to Monterey, Yosemite, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks
In fact, all along the Coast Range, you can allow your eyes to feast on these trees. You can fly into Fresno Yosemite International airport and drive up the mountains to see these giants. One of my family's favorite site to see these trees is in Monterey. I have never given up an opportunity to travel to Big Sur to see them. What else do I need? I have the misty fog, the nearby ocean and the tallest trees in the world around your campsite.
Are you thinking about planting some Redwoods?
Consider the following varieties, differences and advice
Just for your information, the name coast Redwoods are known under is Sempervirens. According to another book called, "Sunset Western Garden Book," there are several varieties of coast redwoods.
1. Aptos blue: They have dense, blue-green foliage on nearly horizontal branches with branchlets hanging down.
2. Majestic beauty: They have blue-green foliage
3. Santa Cruz: They have light-green foliage, soft texture, branches pointing slightly down.
4. Soquel: they have fine texture, somewhat blue-green foliage, horizontal, arching branches that turn up at tips, sturdy, stout trunk
5. Filoli and Woodside: Similar varieties are distinctively blue, almost like blue spruce
6. Simpson's silver: Silvery blue
At this point, it's worth noting that not all varieties grow tall. There are some dwarf redwoods that can grow only 3 feet high and 6 feet wide. The Adpressa is one of them.
When to consider planting Redwoods and life expectation and commitment to caring and pruning
The Fall season is the best time to plant redwoods. The reason is that they will have time to establish themselves in the cooler weather. As your trees start growing, you will want to prune them. You will trim, prune from the bottom up. It's a long-term commitment you are making if you want to plant one of these trees in your backyard along that fence. If you can't do it yourself, you will have to hire a tree-trimming company or individuals to do it for you. The more inland you plant them, you can expect them live a less long life than their counterparts on the coast. Moisture is the problem. Redwoods require lots of water. If there are other trees in their proximity that are depriving them of water and other nutrients, they may grow less tall and have not so bright leaves, yellow ones. Competition from rapacious or thirstier trees and lack of water are some of the major problems Redwoods encounter according to the authors of the Sunset book. It's recommended to water them 3 feet deep when they are establishing. Then after that, you need to water them just enough and avoid saturating.
Keep in mind that Redwoods can live up to hundreds and thousands of years. Just imagine what they have witnessed during their long life: war, fire and degradation etc. Yet, they never cease to startle us with their dense and blue-green foliage, size and heights.
If you want to read more about these giant trees, purchase a copy of Giants in the Earth: The California Redwoods.