Why do coniferous trees in the Pacific Northwest grow so fast, so large, and live so long?

When we were growing up, we thought that the only really tall trees in the western U.S. were giant redwoods in northwestern California. It wasn’t until Richard moved to Oregon in the early 1960s that he discovered not only are redwoods exceptionally large, but that all the conifers (e.g., spruces, firs, cedars, hemlocks, and pines) grow taller and can live longer than their relatives elsewhere in the world (see Table 1).

Determining When Trees Are Drought Stressed

Unlike most annual crops, the roots of long-lived trees can penetrate through soils to great depth to reach water (Figure 1).  If we can’t tell how deeply roots penetrate, how do we determine when trees run out of water?  One way is to monitor the moisture status of leaves and twigs, because these are connected through the sapwood in branches, stems, and roots to water deep underground.

Forests Against Trump

Wouldn’t it be a splendid irony if reaction to Trump’s short-sighted stupidity led to an increase in tree planting that might otherwise be difficult to achieve?

Guest Opinion: We need a moon-shot for the environment more than ever

This week, more than 193 nations will celebrate Earth Day. The annual event is a marker for the environmental movement begun on April 22, 1970, when Wisconsin Sen. Gaylord Nelson organized a peaceful teach-in. At the time, rivers were on fire, oil spills fouled Santa Barbara’s coastline, spaceships were headed to the moon, and the nation was at war.

President Obama Should Include the Tongass In Alaska’s First Line of Global Warming Defense

I began my career as forest ecologist in the 1990s, cataloging the remarkable web-of-life in the old-growth rainforests of Prince of Wales Island. Since then, I have worked with rainforest ecologists around the world to document exceptional places like the Tongass and how they can contribute to a global climate change solution. Last April, hundreds of scientists, including myself, sent President Obama a letter asking him to include the Tongass as Alaska’s first line of climate defense.