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Raging wildfires in 2020 transformed Big Basin Redwoods State Park in Santa Cruz County from a towering forested cathedral into a standing boneyard with some of the oldest trees on the planet seemingly burned beyond survival.

But soon after the flames were gone, California’s coast redwoods began calling upon a remarkable energy storage system helping these trees survive even after fires burned away every life-sustaining green needle.

Scientists now have an idea about just how far back these reserves go. Researchers studying a stand of severely burned old growth Big Basin redwoods found the trees fed ancient buds that had been hiding underneath thick bark for more than 1,000 years using carbon transformed into sugars with sunlight that shone more than a half-century ago.

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[-] BilboBargains@lemmy.world 43 points 2 months ago

These trees are some of the most fascinating, awe inspiring and majestic life forms I've ever had the privilege to witness. I planted three of them in a field (a big space is required) and it makes me happy to think that one day there could be this enormous trio breaking the skyline. I'll be long gone but they are growing crazy fast already.

[-] NounsAndWords@lemmy.world 13 points 2 months ago

the trees fed ancient buds that had been hiding underneath thick bark for more than 1,000 years

So as long as there aren't any massive forest fires in the next 1,000 years they should be able to restock their reserve energy and we should be good......

[-] Everythingispenguins@lemmy.world 16 points 2 months ago

Well probably a lot less than that. It will be a long time before a heavy enough fuel load exists there for another fire of this magnitude. It might only take a few decades for the trees to fully recover.

[-] HobbitFoot@thelemmy.club 10 points 2 months ago

Redwood forests are supposed to burn every once in a while. The problem is if too much energy are available to burn.

[-] QuinceDaPence@kbin.social 8 points 2 months ago

Since that area has burned it should be more fire resistant for a while.

Live standing trees themselves don't really burn that well. It's all the shit on the ground and when there's too much it can get hot enough to actually burn the trees. This is why regular smaller controlled burns are good.

Also sounds like it was only 50 years for the current 'energy stored'.

[-] 4am@lemm.ee 6 points 2 months ago

It doesn’t take 1000 years to make the buds

[-] Loupsius@sh.itjust.works 11 points 2 months ago

That’s amazing. I went to California some years ago and seeing the Redwood trees was a highlight of the trip. Hope they get time to recuperate

[-] yetiftw@lemmy.world 7 points 2 months ago

are you aware your account is marked as a bot

this post was submitted on 12 Dec 2023
115 points (96.7% liked)

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