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!
California Redwood Tree Facts for Kids
Redwood trees are the tallest trees in the world. 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!
California redwood trees live for a long time. Some live to 2,000 years old! The average redwood tree lives to be 500-700 years old. 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.
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 – they support each other!
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.
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.
We find some big pine cones near our California home, and I thought redwood trees would have HUGE cones. In fact, the opposite is true! Can you believe that this tiny pine cone fell from a HUGE redwood tree?
Are you looking a book to pair with this lesson? The picture book Redwoods pairs non-fiction facts with fantastic illustrations.
Do you want to learn more California Redwood tree facts? The National Park Service has some great Redwood facts!