Magic in the Redwoods


There is magic in the redwoods. In Johnny Outlander I write of the flow of energy and wisdom that Johnny finds in the redwood groves and of the life that radiates from these ancient trees, but there is so much more. We humans believe ourselves so complex in comparison to other life forms. But did you know that the genome of a redwood is ten times larger than that of a human being? Or that a redwood has six sets of chromosomes, compared to only two sets in people? Redwoods, and their inland cousins the giant sequoias, are some of the most complex and astounding life forms on Earth.

The tallest living thing is a redwood. In modern times they have been measured at a height of almost 380 feet, and who knows what the tallest ever was? Our redwoods once ranged from Canada to Southern California but, since 1850, we have cut down 95% of all old growth redwood trees. Only 5% remain.

Redwoods and sequoias are among the oldest of living things. Today there is a redwood we know to be at least 2,520 years old and a giant sequoia that is 3,240 years old. That redwood was a seedling half a millennium BEFORE the birth of Christ, and that sequoia was well over a thousand years old before the advent of the Christian Era. The largest and oldest of the redwoods were cut down over a century ago and who knows what ages they knew, what world history they survived. Much of it would have been before civilization as we know it…in a single tree.

Is it any wonder that the redwoods hold the energy of the Earth and the wisdom of the Universe? The next time you are near one, put the flat of your hands upon its bark or lean your forehead against the redwood trunk. Close your eyes. Breathe. Feel the energy and listen to the wisdom.  These are magical forest giants. Protect them.



2 Replies to “Magic in the Redwoods”

  1. In Johnny Outlander, we are introduced to Council Stump which is three-feet tall and originally a redwood (?). The stump is ancient and from the time of the Native Americans. Can you share more about why the tree was torn down if the trees are sacred…had it died, was it ill with disease or necessary for sacred gatherings. Very curious.

    1. Yes, Council Stump is a redwood. But the stump predates any activity on the part of the Native Americans. I mention in the book that, according to ancient legend, it had always been there, that the area tribes, specifically the Wiyot, had only known it as their language version of “Council Stump.” I don’t specifically mention that they were not the ones who cut it down, but they weren’t! The first Native Americans who found it, found it just as it is now — evenly sliced three feet from the ground. No technology or tools they had could have accomplished this. So, if you are now thinking that the origin of Council Stump is a yet-to-be-revealed mystery, you’re right!

Leave a Reply