Learn all about California’s national tree with these fun redwood tree facts for kids. These majestic trees fascinate me, and I bet you’ll discover a few surprising redwood tree facts you didn’t know! I’ve also featured some great books featuring redwood trees to continue learning. Find more California facts for kids.
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California Redwood Tree Facts for Kids
I adore redwood trees. Their height is incredible, and I love the red of the tree bark accented by green pine needles. California redwoods are my favorite feature in Muir Park. This month, I was lucky enough to drive for my second grader’s field trip to Filoli. We didn’t tour the mansion of a house that is there (featured in a range of movies and television shows) or its gardens. Instead, we wandered into the woods for some natural beauty. Today I’m sharing some Redwood tree facts for kids that I picked up on the tour!
Fact 1: The World’s Tallest Trees
Redwood trees are the tallest trees in the world. Now, you may ask, just how tall is a Redwood tree? The tallest California redwood on record is 379 feet tall! Imagine taking an American football field and standing it on end. This tallest redwood tree would be even taller than that!
That’s the tallest tree. How tall is the average redwood? Most full-grown Redwood trees are 200 to 240 feet high. Their trunks average 10 to 15 feet around at an adult’s eye level. These are giant trees!
Fact 2: Redwoods are Ancient, Long-Living Trees
California redwood trees live for a long time. Just how long do Redwood trees live? Some live to 2,000 years old! The average redwood tree lives to be 500-700 years old.
Fact 3: Redwoods Repel Insects
California has a great climate for these trees, and the tannin in their bark means that insects like termites don’t like to eat them.
Fact 4: Redwoods Support One Another
California redwoods often grow in a circular grove shape. This is because they will grow out of a single trunk of a dead redwood tree! Growing together in a circle also helps these tall trees to stay standing up straight in the wind. In a Redwood forest, the trees stick together to support each other!
Fact 5: California Redwood Needles are Unique
California redwood trees have flat needles that stick out only on the sides of the branches. This is different from other pine trees like the Douglas fir, where the needles are not flat and stick out from all sorts of angles.
Fact 6: Redwood Bark Protects the Trees from Fires.
Do you see how thick the bark of a redwood tree gets? This protects the tree from all sorts of dangers, including forest fires! The fire will often scorch the bark, but the inside of the tree stays protected and alive. The bark is rough on the outside, but the inside is silky smooth.
Fact 7: Redwood Tree Pine Cones are Tiny
Do Redwood trees have pine cones? Yes, but they might surprise you!
We find some big pine cones when we first moved into our California home, and I thought they might come from Redwood trees since they are such gigantic trees.
I was wrong. In fact, the opposite is true! Can you believe that this tiny pine cone fell from a HUGE redwood tree?
Books About Redwood Trees
Are you looking a book to pair with this lesson? The picture book Redwoods pairs non-fiction facts with fantastic illustrations.
Learn all about the world’s tallest Redwood tree in Stretch to the Sun.
Where Can I See Redwood Trees?
These majestic trees are all over Northern California! Mike White details the top must-do hiking trails in Northern California’s Redwood Coast.
John Soares takes you through the best day hikes, walks and sites in Redwood National and State Parks.
What are your favorite California Redwood tree facts?
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MaryAnne lives is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.
8 thoughts on “California Redwood Tree Facts for Kids”
Wow! These trees are amazing! I can’t believe they live that long!
They are incredible trees.
I love reading about the Redwoods! I need to take my family to visit when we are in Northern California one day! Such majestic trees! Really amazing that they have survived all this time!
The thick bark is also different from most pines because most pines burn very quickly (that’s part of why the wildfires in Texas last fall and a few years ago were so bad).
Amazing! I’m especially fascinated about how they grow out in circles from fallen dead trees (and I guess those little pine cones, too?).
I’m thinking it is a good thing the pine cones are small since they fall from so high off the ground!
We go to Redwood forests often considering our location not that far from Big Basin park. Every time I have to pinch myself to remind that it’s not a dream and that we really live in their midst!
They are incredible trees!
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