National Geographic : 1957 Oct
injuries, redwood also resists fire. Its furrowed, fibrous bark, 8 to 12 inches thick, provides a good measure of natural insulation. Severe and repeated fires may cause cavelike "goose pens," but even a damaged tree can still live on for centuries. Insect resisting, redwood is in much demand as lum ber. Redwood shingles turn rain with great endurance. Durability and lightness fit redwood for use in sills, sashes, doors, and other mill work. Even its bark is some times used-to insulate water heaters. The wood's beauty makes it popular for furniture and interior paneling. Sapwood is almost white; heartwood varies from a cherry color to a rich mahogany hue. Large burls of intricate grain yield ornamental table tops. In early days redwood fur nished spars for ships that rounded Cape Horn, wharf piles for young Pacific ports, cradles for frontier babies, writing slates for pioneer schools, beams for churches, and ties for the railroad that united the Nation. Its very versatility has en dangered the redwood. In 1948 redwood stands were estimated at scarcely one third of the original forest. In one year alone, early in this century, 660 million board feet went the way of Walt Whitman's dying red wood: to "the music of chop pers' axes, the falling trunk and limbs, the crash, the muffled shriek, the groan...." Today both the California and Federal Governments, as well as private groups, safe guard our redwood and se quoia heritage. The National 552 Moulin Studios Geographic Society 40 years Redwoods Raise a Sylvan Temple in California ago helped buy and preserve Sequoia sempervirens, growing in the Eel River Valley, is taller but the famous Giant Forest in thinner than its cousin of the Sierra Nevada, Sequoia gigantea. Sequoia National Park.