Text Box: Ed Gilbert, aka ‘Redwood-Ed’, is a forest naturalist, advocate and experienced hike leader. Ed has vast experience exploring the 450-mile redwood belt from the ‘Big Sur’ in central California to the ‘Chetco River Basin’ in southern Oregon’s ‘Siskiyou National Forest’. Ed’s thousands of hours of hike leading and exploring in the redwoods have been devoted to the study and interpretation of the forest’s ecology and history, both natural and man-made. He has organized and led hikes for more than three hundred groups, including tourist, corporate, environmental, senior, youth, avid hikers and state parks staff. He has trained new redwood forest hike leaders and interpreters, served more than 20 years as a ‘State Parks volunteer’, has intimate knowledge of past logging and lumbering practices, and has studied forest ecology, plant identification and nature interpretation. Ed, a recipient of the ’California Poppy Award for Exemplary Volunteer Service to California State Parks’ and the former owner, president and CEO of ‘DSC Diamond-Bilt’, has a BS-Engineering degree from Oregon State University and is a California Registered Professional Engineer. His most recent environmental  affiliations include: 
 



Text Box: The Coast Redwoods . . . The Living Legends

In the most favorable parts of their range, California’s magnificent coast redwoods can grow more than 320 feet high (about as tall as a 30-story building), with trunks more than 24 feet in diameter at breast-height, and can live for more than 2,000 years. However, ancient coast redwoods are rare — less than 5 percent of the original forest remains today. These ancient forests contain the highest standing biomass (total of all aboveground organic matter) of any forest on Earth and, therefore, store incredible amounts of carbon.

The coast redwood is one of the world’s fastest growing conifers. In contrast to the tree’s size, redwood cones are very small — only about an inch long. Each cone contains 14 to 24 tiny seeds: It would take well over 100,000 seeds to weigh a pound! In good conditions, redwood seedlings grow rapidly, sometimes more than a foot annually. Young trees also sprout from their parent's roots, taking advantage of the energy and nutrient reserves contained within the established, shallow root system.
In recent years, scientists have discovered that life abounds in the canopy and on the forest floor. Canopy research supported by Save the Redwoods League has revealed many species that live their entire lives in the redwood canopy, including worms, salamanders and plants such as Sitka spruce, ferns and huckleberry.
Frequent, naturally occurring fires play an important role in keeping coast redwood ecosystems healthy because they rid the forest floor of combustible materials. In contrast, decades of fire suppression practices usually result in the accumulation of dead plant material that may fuel intense, destructive fires.













Coast redwoods grow naturally only in a narrow 450-mile strip along the coast from central California to southern Oregon. In this ‘redwood belt’, temperatures are moderate year-round. Heavy winter rains and dense summer fog provide the trees with much-needed water during the otherwise drought-prone summers. In fact, redwoods create their own ‘rain’ by capturing the fog on their lofty branches, contributing moisture to the forest in the driest time of year.
While these climate and terrain conditions foster the growth of the redwoods, other factors come into play to enhance their chance for long term survival and immense growth. First off, their very spongy and up to one-foot thick bark gives them the capacity to absorb and hold a large amount of water. This, combined with the lack of flammable resins in their makeup, makes them very fire-resistant. Secondly, the tannic acid in their genetic makeup, which acts as a natural insecticide and fungicide, protects them from attack by pests and disease. You will never see moss or fungus growing on a healthy redwood tree. Thirdly, their very shallow root-structure extends outward, radially, for a long distance from the tree base. These extended roots attach to the roots of the other redwoods in the grove and provide them all with the stability to resist falling during periods of high wind and ground saturation from heavy rainfall.  And finally, if they do become stressed from fire damage, or felling from wind or logging operations, they will most often, by their genetic nature, repair their damage or grow multiple new vertical trunks, with like DNA, surrounding the damaged trunk or stump. This new growth sprouts from ‘burls’ in the surviving root system and is commonly referred to as a ‘fairy ring’.   
All of the above factors, when combined, provide this small part of the world with a natural specie of nature that, despite climate change, catastrophic events and the ‘hands-of-man’, has been able to survive, in various related forms, for more than 160-million years.
The native people of California did not usually cut down coast redwoods, but used fallen trees to make planks for houses and hollowed-out logs for canoes. When gold was discovered in 1849, hundreds of thousands of people came to California in need of food and housing, and redwoods were logged extensively to satisfy their needs. By the 1960s, only a small fraction remained of the original 2 million acres of ancient coast redwood forest. The largest surviving stands of ancient coast redwoods are in Redwood National Park and Jedediah Smith, Prairie Creek, Humboldt and Big Basin Redwoods State Parks.

World’s tallest: ‘Hyperion’

A fire-hollowed, redwood giant, with a ‘Goose-Pen’ cavern, used historically, with a gate, to house geese or chicken

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  #1 Largest: ‘Lost Monarch-

Text Box: 1) With the exception of the 14th and 15th largest redwoods, the exact location of all of the above largest and tallest redwood trees are kept secret from the public to protect the integrity of these trees from damage and ground compaction, which could impair and shorten their lives.

2) The ‘Diameter (b-h)’ represents the ‘average diameter of a tree’ when measured at ‘breast height’ or ‘4.5 feet above median ground level.’

3) Much of the information on this page was derived from on-line postings by the ‘Save-the-Redwoods League’, ‘Wikipedia’, ‘Google Earth’ and other sources.

4) All color photos following, and on pages 2 thru 41, are originals by Ed Gilbert.
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Text Box: A new world record . . .
Text Box: The ‘Redwood 
Highway‘. . . .
Text Box:  Gilbert Redwood Excursions (Owner & Chief Hike Leader)
 The Advocates for The Forest of Nisene Marks (Vice-President & Director)
 The California Department of Parks and Recreation (Volunteer)
 The Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks (Member & Docent)
 The Mountain Parks Foundation (Member)
 The Nature Conservancy (Member)
 The Save-the-Redwoods League (Member & Project Worker)
 The Sempervirens Fund (Member)
 The Sierra Club (Ventana Chapter Wilderness Hike Leader)
Historical Forest ViewsText Box: Redwood-Ed’s 
‘Flickr’ Account 
Text Box: Discover the 
‘Forest’ . . . .
Text Box: Falling an ‘Old Redwood’ . . . .