OTHER VIEWS: Can coastal redwoods evolve fast enough?

 Updated 

Coast redwoods — enormous, spectacular trees, some reaching nearly 400 feet, the tallest plants on the planet — thrive mostly in a narrow strip of land in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. Most of them grow from Southern Oregon down into Northern California, snugged up against the rugged Pacific coast.

They have grown by slowly responding to moisture and rich alluvial soil over millenniums, combined with a genetic payload that pushes them to the upper limits of tree height. They are at risk — down to perhaps 70,000 individuals, falling from at least a half-million trees before humans arrived, but that’s not a new story, for we are all at risk.

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