Wendy Baxter begins her ascent of a Giant Sequoia. Ezra David Romero/Valley Public Radio
For the first time, says Valley Public Radio, the giant Sequoia trees in Sequoia National Park are showing signs of drought distress. Researchers from UC Berkeley and several agencies are trying to gauge how bad it is. Reporter Ezra David Romero went along recently.
The Sequoias are the largest living things on Earth and are only found on the west wide of the Sierra Nevada in California.
This notion that the Giant Sequoias could die because of drought has brought together agencies like the National Park Service, UC Berkeley, Stanford, the US Forest Service and others for the first health related study on the Giant Sequoia. The U.S. Geological Survey and the Carnegie Airborne Observatory are also involved in the research.
Some of these trees are over 3,000 years old and have faced many droughts in their lifespan. But perhaps this drought is too much for them. While a lot of these trees look healthy, many of the are under stress.
“The good is that there were lots of trees that still seem healthy, but there was this smaller amount that seemed to be stressed and stressed in ways we haven’t seen documented before in the parks,” says Koren Nydick the lead scientist behind the study with the park.
Here's video of a Sequoia ascent.