How Tall Do Redwoods Grow in the Santa Cruz Mountains?

In the summer of 2012 a project was undertaken by Zane Moore and Steve Singer to find and measure the tallest tree in the Santa Cruz Mountains.  All old-growth stands likely to harbor exceptionally tall trees were searched and the tallest tree proved to be a 328.1 foot tall redwood in Big Basin Redwoods State Park.  This tree is known as the Headwall Tree, and for the sake of its continued well-being, its exact location is a closely kept secret.   

Compared to the Hyperion Redwood in Humboldt County with a height of 379.6 feet tall, the Headwall Tree is relatively small, yet it is the tallest tree south of Mendocino County.   To learn more about the tallest redwoods in the Santa Cruz Mountains, see the scientific article by Moore and Singer, “Discovery of the Tallest Redwoods in the Santa Cruz Mountains – Their Distribution and Ecology” found below.  

Discovery of the tallest redwoods in the Santa Cruz Mountains – their distribution and ecology

By Zane Moore (1) and Steven W. Singer, MS (2)
(1)Colorado State University, (2) Steven Singer Environmental & Ecological Services
A search for tall trees in the coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) forests of the Santa Cruz Mountains was undertaken in the summer of 2012. Almost all publicly-accessible old-growth stands were searched, leading to the discovery of eleven additional trees greater than 90 m (295.2 ft) tall in several different stands. The tallest tree found was 100.01 m (328.1 ft) tall and was located in Big Basin Redwoods State Park. The previous record holder in the Santa Cruz Mountains was a redwood 93.08 m (305.38 ft) tall found in Portola Redwoods State Park.1 In this article, we will discuss the ecological value of tall trees and speculate on the environmental conditions that favor the development of the tallest trees.

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