Giants of the Forest

Ancient Trees Saving the Future

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden’s Redwood Section is a microcosm of the coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) community. Redwood forests feature a lush and diverse understory of trees, shrubs, and ferns. Planted in the naturally cool and shady confines of Mission Canyon, these majestic trees are some of the oldest plants at the Garden at nearly a century old. The tallest redwood in our collection was last recorded at a height of 160 feet (48 meters).

Redwoods are not only beautiful, but they are also a priceless resource in the fight against climate change. Due to their longevity, redwoods can store more carbon than just about any other species on the planet.

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Ecosystem Services

Nature’s Climate Warriors

As the largest trees on the planet, redwoods help keep our air clean, removing carbon dioxide by storing it as wood. Each growth ring they add pulls massive amounts of carbon from our atmosphere. In fact, one long-term study found that old-growth redwoods may be able to store five times more carbon above ground than any other type of forest, including the Amazon rainforest. The value of these forests has not always been appreciated though; it is estimated that 93% of old-growth redwood forests have already been logged.

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