Archive for October 27th, 2009

Freight train

redwood_giant_tree_fall.jpg

Yup, that’s the root end of a giant redwood that fell a few years back. Nobody saw it fall, but a guy a few miles away said he heard what sounded like a freight train crash! And that’s the Guru standing back there to give you a sense of scale.

Having stood next to these gentle(?) giants, I’d say you pretty much have to use the vertical format more than you normally do in the out of doors. However, it’s still difficult to frame a whole tree even with a 16:9 aspect ratio.

I guess that’s why I’m rather partial to this photo (and others) of the tree-fall end of the redwood (spelled “rewood” on one of the state maps). You can see the robust roots do not extend far from the trunk, that there’s little buttressing, and that there’s no tap root. These guys are poorly anchored, at best. They need their brethren to help them stay upright. Another factor in this fall was that the ground was saturated from a lot of rainfall. I’d say wind is a great enemy of redwoods.

I just want to say that the two of us, having survived two tree falls—of oaks, mind you—maybe brought an unusual perspective on gravity and trees to our redwood time….