California’s giant, millennium-old trees have survived so far, but may not withstand more megablazes in next few years, researchers say.
The trees adapted to withstand smaller fires at much longer intervals, but not the current cycle of big ones every few years, redwood researchers say. “What should be obvious to everyone is we have to do a better job of living with fire,” said Steve Norman, research ecologist for the U.S. Forest Service.
One of the three redwoods species, the General Sherman Tree in Sequoia National Park is the most massive living thing on Earth. The tree was named in 1879 by naturalist James Wolverton, who had served under Sherman. It is estimated to be around 2,300 to 2,700 years old, with a height of 83.8 meters (275 ft) and an estimated mass of 1910 metric tons.
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