The Long and Eventful Life of the Redwood Tree

I started life in 212 AD and died when I was 1,703 years old, a long life for a redwood. I have been a witness to much: Constantine the Great, emperor of the Roman Empire; Leif Erickson landing on the coast of North America; the Declaration of Independence; the Civil War; and many, many plagues befalling humanity. I'd just like to point out that I really DON'T GIVE A FIG about human history. What I obsess about mostly is the weather. I care about snowpack, droughts, heat waves, floods, tornadoes, and hurricanes. My rings measure 10- feet in diameter and were wider at the start of my life, showing I had plenty of sunlight and water. They became thinner as I started to age, kind of like you humans going a little bald on top. In 1913, I was blown over by a storm in Sequoia National Park. You can learn more about me in the lobby of the UA Bryant Bannister Tree Ring Building, Tucson Arizona.

Photo credit: Duncan Slater

I do find frustrating the idea that trees are witnesses to our human history. This is most often referred to when a felled tree's annual rings are marked up with what happened in human history during the time the tree was growing.

This approach makes relatable timespans for people - but it is humans doing a human-based interpretation to talk to other humans: it has very little to do with the tree at all - you could just draw a time-line on a bit of paper. We should try harder to understand tree time' and the responses of a tree.

For more information on Tree Ring Research and Dating

Light Corn Bread


2 cups medium ground corn meal

1 cup flour

½ cup sugar

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

3 tablespoons melted bacon grease

2 cups buttermilk

Instructions: Preheat oven to 300. Grease and flour a 9 x 5 x 3 loaf pan. In a bowl, stir together cornmeal, flour, sugar, soda and salt. Add bacon drippings and buttermilk, beat well. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Thanks for Reading

and Happy Holidays!

Faith Appelquist
President & Founder