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Giant Sequoias Receive Necessary Snows Just in Time

Dec 23, 2015 07:46 PM EST
Giant sequoias
Two recent snowfalls in the Sierra Nevada range are providing just-in-time moisture to giant sequoias, after four years of drought in California.
(Photo : Wikipedia Commons)

In one of several recent cases of "Whew, just in time--rain or snow for this particular species," California's giant sequoias are benefiting some recent moisture, according to an article in The Oregonian.

That's good, because grove managers in that state have been concerned about the giant trees' health after four years of drought. But snow fell in late November and then again in mid-December in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, where the trees grow at around 6,500 feet in elevation.

Normally, roads to the parks are impassable because of snow for a couple of winter months after the Christmas holidays, but that hasn't happened in recent drought years. Visitors should use traction tires and bring along chains.

Worldwide, 75 groves of giant sequoias exist, although all of them are on the western slope of the south-central part of the Sierra Nevada range. One of those groves, the Giant Forest, is really extensive and has 8,400 sequoias that each measures more than a foot at the base. The tallest of the giant sequoias are as high as a 26-story building, about half the height of New York's iconic Woolworth Building. the real giants among the sequoias are thought to be 1,800 to 2,700 years old. For those that are not already giant trees, it's likely they'll become that in a couple thousand years, if all goes well for the trees.

For more great nature science stories and general news, please visit our sister site, Headlines and Global News (HNGN).

-Follow Catherine on Twitter @TreesWhales

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