Tallest California Redwood in Muir Woods Isn’t Nearly as Ancient as We Thought

posted: 06/02/15
by: Danny Clemens
Muir Woods

Coming in at a whopping 249 feet, Tree 76 is the tallest tree in Muir Woods, an area of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area known for its old-growth forest. In a new study from Humboldt State University, researchers have finally been able to assign an age to the towering arboreal giant.

Here's the bad news -- the findings are a little underwhelming.

Based on an analysis of tree-ring data, Humboldt biologist Allyson Carroll has pinned the tree as being 777 years old. Although few other things in nature have thrived for seven centuries, other California redwoods have been known to live up to 1,500 years.

Emily Burns, the science director for the Save the Redwoods League, posits that the tree's relatively young age could be a sign that a forest fire, flood or other catastrophic event may have destroyed the forest at some point:

"We know redwoods can get older than this, and some redwoods in the Bay Area were logged. But we don't see any evidence of logging," she told the San Francisco Gate. "That leads me to believe that there may have been some sort of disturbance."

Click here for the full story from the San Francisco Gate

Learn more about the California redwoods:

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Redwood Coast, California

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