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Fire Resistance

Giant sequoia trees are resistant to fire. That is one of the reasons they can live for so long. Fires also allow the cones to open, and the seeds to fall to the ground where they can sprout in the spring. In this portion of the tour, you will see some examples of fire resistance in sequoia trees.
Click on any photo to see an enlargement.

Fire Damage

burnt trunkLook closely at this trunk of a giant sequoia. Do you see where there is some fire damage? The tree survived the fire, and is healthy and strong. Its bark helps it to resist fire because it is so thick and does not burn easily. Botanists say that giant sequoia trees are 'fire resistant.'

 

 

Healing

healing treeNow look at the trunk of this tree. It has also lived through a fire, but if you look closely you will notice that the bark is starting to grow over the fire scar. This tree is in the process of healing. Even though giant sequoias are resistant to fire, the trunks will still burn a little bit if the fire is hot enough.

 

 

Stripped Bark

stripped bark #1stripped bark #2Do you remember which part of the tree helps the sequoia be fire resistant? That's right - it's the bark. What do you suppose might happen if the bark is taken off the tree? Click on these two photos to look at this tree up close, then tell what you think. Are they still alive?

This tree is named the 'Mother of the Forest.' Many years ago, people stripped the bark from this tree. Without its bark, the tree soon died because its natural fire protection was gone. You can still see the burn marks from the fire in 1908 that killed the Mother of the Forest.

 

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Continue the tour!

 

Introduction

Life Cycle of A Giant Sequoia

Parts of a Giant Sequoia Tree

Other Plants of the Giant Sequoia Forest

Glossary

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