Hello friends. I am the redwood grandfather of the trees here in Muir woods, in the valley a few miles away from the shore. Where I live now is called California, but it wasn’t always California. When I was born, it was just land. Land near the ocean. I have been here for more than a millennia.
You can call us the dinosaurs of trees; the ents of the real world; the biggest, baddest trees around. Our bark is all kinds of red, our branches grow mostly straight, and we can stand more than 300 feet tall. We grow so big that the plants and ferns and grasses that below rarely get sunlight. If a human were to yell at the top of their lungs — as loud as they can — i wouldn’t be able to hear the scream because it would be so far below me. It’s hard to believe that I grow from a seed as small as a tomato.
We are a family here. Sometimes, my children are clumped together in a big group, and their children grow up next to them. Sometimes, my brothers and sisters look like they’re fighting, smashed into each other. Sometimes, my grandchildren look like they’re holding hands, so close together with their branches reaching out to one another.
There are other redwood clans in the world, one a few hundred miles north and another an ocean away. Those trees — those over the water — are smaller than we are here on this land. Still, the biggest human on this entire earth wouldn’t be able to hug our trunks.
Before humans began living near here, there were many of us on millions of acres around me. Hundred of miles south, there were so many of us that humans cut us down to build human things, like bridges over canyons. Humans liked our lumber so much, built so many things out of us, that entire families — so many of us — were cut down 200 years ago.
Then, in 1908, humans realized how amazing we were, how unusual we are, towering over everything around us. They created Muir woods so that other people could learn learn about us, see how grand our families can be. Here, not only do we reach up to the sky, but our roots slide down hills and onto trails, stomp on foot paths a little higher up the mountain, creep under the ground below.
Come visit us some time to see!