The Dyerville Giant was an enormous tree. In 1991, it fell to earth.

 

The redwood tree was 362 feet tall. It was taller than the Statue of Liberty. The tree stood in Humboldt Redwoods State Park. This park is in California. The giant tree made a great crash. It shook the earth.

 

Dave Stockton is an expert on the park. He runs a nature group. Stockton and others give tours of the area. He remembered visiting the tree after it fell.

 

Stockton showed me the tree while walking around the park. It is not the only giant tree there. Others are huge, too. Redwoods are the tallest trees in the world. Some are more than 350 feet tall.


Rockefeller Forest

 

Humboldt Redwoods State Park is a large area. It covers many miles. Inside the park is Rockefeller Forest. It has the finest redwoods in the world. The forest has trees of all ages. Some are very young. They are called "dog hairs." These young trees cover the ground in patches. Other trees are much older. Some are now rotting stumps. They stick out like giant teeth.

 

Some of the trees are covered with spider webs. They almost look like beards. The redwoods here are very old. Some are almost 2,000 years old.

 

Redwoods are special. They live so long because they have high amounts of tannin. It keeps insects away. The trees also have low amounts of resin. That helps them survive fires.

 

Threats to Redwoods

 

The redwoods face several dangers. Stockton thinks the biggest natural danger is wind. The trees can grow very tall. However, their roots are shallow. They do not grow far into the ground. That means the trees are easily shaken. Too much wind could knock them over.

 

Humans have long used the wood of redwood trees. Native Americans built canoes and sweathouses out of the tree trunks. They used the roots to make baskets. In the 1850s, loggers harvested redwoods for buildings and railroad ties.

 

Many animals live in the forests. Bats live within hollow trunks. Birds nest in the branches. Insects live on fallen redwoods. The trees also provide dens. Skunks and foxes live here.

 

The trail lead through the forest. It brought us to a place called Cathedral Grove. The trees there are huge. They are the largest in the forest. Stockton loves being there. "It's so quiet," he said.

 

Tall Trees
Coast redwoods are the tallest trees in the world.
antler
Noun

horn-like bony outgrowth on deer and related animals.

appropriate
Adjective

fitting.

bark
Noun

typically hard, outer covering of a tree.

bat
Noun

flying mammal.

canoe
noun, verb

small, open boat with pointed ends.

cavern
Noun

large cave.

coast redwood
Noun

tallest tree species on Earth.

dawn redwood
Noun

tree native to China.

deafening
Adjective

very loud.

dog hair
Noun

group of small, young redwood trees.

downed
Adjective

fallen or crashed.

Dyerville Giant
Noun

coast redwood tree in the U.S. state of California which fell in 1991.

earth
Noun

soil or dirt.

earthquake
Noun

the sudden shaking of Earth's crust caused by the release of energy along fault lines or from volcanic activity.

enthusiast
Noun

a fan or supporter.

filter
Verb

to remove particles from a substance by passing the substance through a screen or other material that catches larger particles and lets the rest of the substance pass through.

Noun

clouds at ground level.

fox
Noun

type of mammal related to a dog with a thin muzzle and thick tail.

giant sequoia
Noun

largest species of tree on Earth.

goose pen
Noun

large hollow area in the base of a tree.

imposing
Adjective

large or very impressive.

impressive
Adjective

admirable or very memorable.

insect
Noun

type of animal that breathes air and has a body divided into three segments, with six legs and usually wings.

logging
Noun

industry engaged in cutting down trees and moving the wood to sawmills.

majestic
Adjective

very impressive and formal.

preserve
Verb

to maintain and keep safe from damage.

railroad tie
Noun

flat piece of wood that supports the metal track of a railroad.

resin
Noun

clear, sticky substance produced by some plants.

root
Noun

part of a plant that secures it in the soil, obtains water and nutrients, and often stores food made by leaves.

root system
Noun

all of a plant's roots.

seabird
Noun

bird native to an aquatic environment.

seismograph
Noun

instrument that detects and records vibrations caused by seismic shock waves.

shallow
Adjective

not deep.

skunk
Noun

mammal native to North America known for emitting a foul odor when attacked or threatened.

soil
Noun

top layer of the Earth's surface where plants can grow.

species
Noun

group of similar organisms that can reproduce with each other.

spider web
Noun

structure made from thin, sticky material spun by spiders and originating from their bodies.

Statue of Liberty
Noun

(1886) large sculpture in New York Harbor of a woman holding a torch, designed by French sculptor F.A. Bartholdi.

sweathouse
Noun

structure used by some Native American cultures wherein water is poured over heated stones, causing people in the structure to sweat. Also called a sweat lodge.

tannin
Noun

chemical substance found in plants.

thrive
Verb

to develop and be successful.

Noun

movement of air (from a high pressure zone to a low pressure zone) caused by the uneven heating of the Earth by the sun.