Vignette > Redwood’s Age

Startling news headline on June 3, 2015, “Oldest Muir Woods redwood is only half its estimated age. At 777 years old, Tree #76 is just a babe in the woods.”  Scientists’ best guesses had the trees in the 1200- to 1500-year-old-range. Allyson Carroll, a Humboldt State University tree-ring specialist found that the 249-foot-tall beauty is 777 years old. Two younger trees were found to be 693 and 526 years old.  This news was of great interest to Homestead Valley residents. One of three ancient 7-ft. diameter redwoods in Tam Canyon had leaned for centuries at a 60° angle from horizontal.  In 2006 it fell onto La Verne Ave. County Public Works Dept. removed it, but left one log for exhibition across the street in Stolte Grove.  A non-professional tree ring count indicated that the tree was estimated to be between 700 and 800 years old, about the same age as the oldest tree in Muir Woods, which is 1-1/4 miles west. A fire had scarred the three Tam Canyon trees. The ring count on the fallen tree indicated that the fire occurred about 300 years ago.