Coastal Redwoods

Having seen Sequoiadendron Giganteum I was keen to see the best of the Sequoia Sempervirens or Coastal Redwood. This meant taking a bit of a detour between Redding and Klamath Falls. We left Redding and headed west through some beautiful country in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest dropping down into Redwood National and State Parks. Stunning views along the way and even the roadworks at a landslide on the 199 didn’t bother us as we got to stop and see a stunning river gorge.

Our first stop proper was the Lady Bird Johnston Grove of Redwoods. A compact walk through old growth Redwoods with loads of character and a quiet spot with very few tourists about. We were able to stroll through and take it all in. Another one of those special moments on our trip.

We then moved on to Prairie Creek, home of the BIG Redwoods which were a treat to behold. I had a stiff neck the next day, and no wonder, after staring skyward for long periods of the day.

Photos just don’t capture the immenseness of these trees. It nearly takes you to have someone standing in each photo to help capture the scale of what you are seeing. These trees are survivors with many showing signs of fire damage. The deadwood in many places was as exciting to view as the living.

I’ve added some wildlife pics and coastal shots too. A coastline that doesn’t get talked about very much but stunning. I’ve tried to make the images run chronologically but they may be  mixed here and there with some from the camera and some from my phone. Enjoy. Next up is Crater Lake, probably my favourite piece of America so far, and that’s saying something.


Giant Redwoods

After leaving Monterrey we headed West and down a little to take in the Giant Redwoods of Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park. This was an ‘add on’ to the trip as I had hoped to see the Giant Redwoods in the Maraposa Grove when we reached Yosemite. However, the Maraposa Grove was still closed and the only way I’d get to see some BIG trees was to drive a little more and hit up these guys.

The weather turned the closer we got to the park and it was a little wet and misty for our visit. At one point we drove up through the cloud on hairpin bends with 10 feet visability. Nearly as stressful as driving in the Bay area! 🙂 We broke through the cloud level and within a few bends we saw our first big Sequoiadendron Giganteum. I pulled over and got out for a first look and a hug. A special moment walking up to these trees for the first time. They make you feel insignificant and short lived.

We travelled on to the visitors centre at Sequoia National Park and took a walk to see some of the bigger trees and then over into Kings Canyon National Park to see some more. General Sherman and General Grant got a visit, the first and third largest living things in the world. I’ll be honest, a few of the other big boys nearby were better for me. Better shape, more character, hollow trunks etc. Everyone’s a critique.

Very hard to capture the awesomeness of these in a photo on a grey day. However, here are some of the shots I captured.


Best use?

Over the years I have gathered up far too much material on my benches and plan to thin out this year. To do this I’m giving some trees away and selling others. Most of this is raw or semi styled material. I spent a morning yesterday setting all these trees to the side and assessing if I want to keep them, or how much I need for them.

During this process I found a few trees that on their own were nothing special. To get the best use out of them I decided create a few group plantings.

First up was 4 Dawn Redwoods that had been field grown for 6 years. Four isn’t ideal for a group but one of the trees was a twin trunk so it looks like 5 :-). Hey it works!! The pot is poor but, if you’re going to sell it, who cares :-). Major work required on the deadwood (deadwood on a redwood 🙂 sorry, just had to say that!)

buds - perfect time for repotting

Next up is a beech that I planned to sell but I want to keep it now. I plan to experiment with a few new techniques for beech this year and this one is ideal for it.


I also had 6 elms that have been sitting under a bench for years without a second glance.  I decided to pop them into the red tray from the beech and get them started as a group planting. Six trees is never going to work, so I put five in the group and the spare is going to Jamie from the club for him to play with. I’ll expect a comment on here Jamie, I know you follow this :-). Here’s the 5 in the group.

None of these are that exciting but I think I’m now getting the best out of the material.