The coast redwood region is a narrow strip of land extending 450 miles from southern Oregon to about 150 miles south of San Francisco, with by far the greatest concentrations of redwoods occurring in Humboldt County.
Humboldt Redwoods State Park is California's largest redwood state park and includes the 10,000-acre Rockefeller Forest, the largest remaining contiguous old-growth coast redwood forest in the world.
With an average lifespan of 500-700 years, coast redwoods can live to more than 2,000 years and grow to over 360 feet in height.
Their great longevity is not why redwoods are called sequoia sempervirens, or sequoia ever-living. Rather, the scientific name refers to their ability to sprout from root stock as well as from seed.
The world's tallest tree was discovered in late 2006 in an undisclosed location in the Redwoods National and State Park in Humboldt County. It is named Hyperion and is 380 feet tall, which is nearly six stories taller than the Statue of Liberty.
Redwoods have few natural enemies. Tannic acid makes them resistant to disease and insect infestation, and their thick, fibrous bark effectively resists fire.
Goose Pens are where the base of a redwood has been hollowed out by fire, but the top of the tree is still thriving. These openings are so large that, in earlier days, settlers in the West could corral their livestock in them, thus giving the goosepens their name.
Redwood Burls are wart-like protuberances from which redwood shoots may be sprouting.
Nursery Trees are where a fallen or cut redwood is surrounded by a circle of younger redwoods, all receiving nutrients from the original tree's root system.
Redwoods appeared on the West Coast of North America about 20 million years ago.
Today, over 160,000 acres of redwood forest are protected by federal, state, county and local parks on the Redwood Coast.
There are three members of the redwood family: Coast redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens) of the California coastal fog belt, Giant sequoias (Sequoiadendron giganteum) of the Sierra Nevada, and dawn redwoods (Metasequoia glyptostroboides) of central China.
Coast Redwood vs. Giant Sequoia Facts
Coast redwoods are located on the Pacific Coast from central California to southern Oregon, grow up to 380 feet tall, and have diameters up to 28 feet.
Giant Sequoia are located in the Sierra Nevada from 5,000 to 8,000 feet elevation, live up to 3,200 years, can grow up to 311 feet, and have diameters up to 40 feet.
Because of the giant trees and the alien flora, scenes for the Star Wars movie Return of the Jedi were filmed in Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park.
Scenes for Steven Spielberg's movie The Lost World - Jurassic Park were filmed at Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, Sue-Meg State Park and Fern Canyon*.