Fellow research colleague Zane Moore shares his recent discovery about the ecology of Albino Redwoods in releation to soil toxicity. Learn what finally may be causing these mutations to occur in coast redwoods below in this poster & news links:
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Once again Arborist Tom Stapleton put on another exciting booth presentation at the Forestlands Expo in Ft. Bragg on Labor Day weekend. Tom teamed up with Mendocino Redwood Company during the Paul Bunyan Days festivities in Ft. Bragg. Locals from the area had a firsthand look at some of the rare trees that Tom had in propagation. Tom explained that these trees are essentially the “Canary in the coal mine” telling us how redwoods are adapting to an ever changing environment where the implications of pollution may be having an effect on the redwood forests.
Paul Bunyan (played by Mike Stephens) stands alongside Robert Douglas Senior Biologist/Forest Science Manager for Mendocino Redwood Company during the Paul Bunyan Day’s festivities in Ft. Bragg.
In the years following the 2014 move of the Cotati Tree, the site where the tree was relocated was found to be deficient in proper drainage. New roots had a hard time developing in the anaerobic (oxygen poor) soil which tended to leave the tree depended on forming new roots within the root ball instead of the surrounding soil as intended. This left the Cotati Tree almost entirely reliant on supplemental irrigation during the summer months and gave the appearance that all was well with the tree. When the irrigation line malfunctioned in June of 2016 this caused the root ball to quickly dry out exposing the underlying root problems. In turn, the tree immediately became stressed and start dropping leaves. Neighbor Louise Santero & Arborist Tom Stapleton quickly coordinated with the rail agency SMART and a local contractor to get water on the tree via truck tenders. Had the tree gone another two weeks without water there would have been a strong chance that the tree would have been lost. As the water lines were being repaired, Arborist Tom Stapleton submitted to SMART an arborist assessment on the Cotati Tree and recommendations to correct the poor drainage problems at the site. The report recommended that drain lines be installed, existing dirt be amended with topsoil, and dirt raised to the elevation of the surrounding root ball. This hopefully would allow for improved drainage and more oxygenated soil promoting better root expansion. In August moving contractor Environmental Design was brought back in to carry out Tom's recommendations. Shortly there after, the work was completed which will hopefully lead to an improved outlook for the Cotati Tree.
Below are pictures after the improvements were made:
The Cotati Tree with soil and drainage improvements complete. Notice how the crown of the Cotati Tree appears less dense following the drought stress it encountered. Over time hopefully the tree will recover.
Here we can see topsoil brought in to level off the root ball.
Notice the repaired irrigation lines at the tree. The waterline that failed in June 2016 was near the train station platform.
The Cotati Tree in the background of the Cotati Train Station’s northbound platform.
On June 7th Tom Stapleton held a booth presentation about albino and chimera redwoods at Trees of Mystery. The turnout was great with tourists and locals alike coming out to see the fascinating trees which Tom and Zane are studying. School children from Mary Peacock Elementary in Crescent City were seen listening to Tom's description on the science behind thee trees. The kids had the chance to look into a microscope and see up close the distinct color patterns within chimeric albino redwoods. Many were taken back by the idea that redwoods could grow in such beautiful color arrays. Folks visiting from out of state expecting to see only redwoods of great size and height were pleasantly surprised by the multicolored redwood trees. Some people exclaimed "is this real" as if interpreting that the foliage was fake. Tom said: "experience it for yourself". The expression on most people’s faces was one of bewilderment that a redwood could exhibit such a bright white appearance and yet be so soft. For more information about the visit, you can read it here in the Crescent City Triplicate newspaper: Albino Redwoods News Article 5-28-16
Thanks again to Debbie and Brenda at Trees of Mystery for making this visit possible!
A pariclinal chimeric albino redwood bigger than the Cotati Tree was discovered by a Sacramento City arborist in 2014. After careful consideration on how to protect the tree, the City finally decided to go public with an announcement on 5/11/16. Here is a link to the article about the discovery: