Friday, November 9, 2012

Science of Really Tall Trees

I can almost guarantee that if you watch all the videos in this post, it will change the way you look at trees.

A walk in California's giant redwood forest can be a transformative experience just being in proximity to these huge, ancient living things.  Sure tall trees are massively gargantuan biomasses that are awesome in their own right, but have you ever stopped to think about what it takes to allow a tree like that to exist?  The science is pretty interesting.  I mean, how does a tree suck water up hundreds of feet?  It turns out the answer isn't simple.  The video above offers an explanation and gives you some idea of what these giant living things go through every day.  Watch and be amazed!

Of course, once these huge trees exist, they literally change the landscape and the ecosystem around them.  Scientists like Stephen Sillett spend their lives trying to understand these giant beings and the plants and animals that depend on them.  The videos below give an interesting view into the world of giant redwoods and the scientists who climb 300ft up to study them (yes there's some great technical tree climbing action too).