National Geographic : 1964 Jul
of the summer we continued to mar vel at the height of the redwoods, like every other traveling family. Beneath these mighty trees the imagination falters. Even the great Galileo thought such heights impossible for trees. Of course, when the Italian astron omer lived four centuries ago, he did not know about the existence of redwoods. Instead, Galileo con jectured that "an oak 200 cubits Redwoods never die, it would appear, considering the myriad green plumelike sprouts on this fallen trunk. Such new growth, rising from the long trunk of a downed tree, occasionally produces straight colonnades of redwoods. Losing its footing, this behemoth toppled in a high wind. Ferns spring from its bared roots. With huge trunks rising from broad, shallow root systems, redwoods resem ble gigantic nails standing on their heads. Flat leaves grow green on a redwood's low branches; its top produces short needles that often turn rust color.