16 Sep. 1975|
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CRESCENT CITY — On Monday, May 13, National Park Service rangers discovered an old-growth redwood tree with a massive burl cut off of its base. The huge stolen burl that was cut off was over 8 feet tall by 10 feet wide, indicating the thieves used large equipment to both cut and transport the burl from the tree.
Redwood National Park Forester Jason Teraoka is unsure whether the vandalized old-growth redwood tree will survive such a large cut. Historically, Redwood National and State Parks have had illegal cutting of burls from park trees, but not to this extent and size.
The public can help protect and preserve the rare remaining old-growth redwood forests by reporting suspicious behavior, helping with education efforts, and ensuring that any purchases of redwood or burl products are made from sources that can verify provenance is from private lands.
The wounded tree is located near the Redwood Creek Trail, but on the hillside above the trail and hidden from view. A burl is bud tissue which remains dormant until some kind of damage occurs to the tree trunk, causing the burl tissue to begin to grow another limb upwards which sometimes overcomes the parent tree in size and age. Several weeks prior to the discovery of this cut, a park scientist studying bears reported a pile of small burls lying on the ground that had been cut from park trees.
In addition, burls often have root sprouts growing downward from their bases, helping the tree survive against high winds and floods and providing the growing tree with additional nutrients from the soil.