California Drought Is Killing Giant Sequoia Trees

Posted: Aug 19 2015, 3:28am CDT | by , Updated: Aug 19 2015, 3:49am CDT, in News | Latest Science News


California Drought Is Killing Giant Sequoia Trees

The giant trees in Sequoia National Park are showing visible signs of stress due to four year record breaking drought

Sequoia, the tallest tree on earth, is in danger. The extreme drought conditions of California are destroying giant sequoias of Sequoia National Park Sierra, Nevada, which is considered a national treasure of America.

Sequoias are among the largest and oldest living things on earth. The tree can grow up to 380 feet in height and needs 500 gallons of water every day. The giant trees are strong enough to withstand wildfires and storms but the ongoing drought in Western United States is making their survival difficult.

To know exactly what damage has done and what to expect next, Anthony Ambrose, a tree ecologist at University of California, led a fieldwork

 “There are a lot trees that are dying, a lot of pines and cedars that have died because of the drought,” said Ambrose. “The giant sequoia seem to be pretty resistant, but we want to know what it take to kill one of these and what can we learn from this.”

For the study, Amborse and his team collected samples from those trees that have dropped up most of their leaves. Some of the sequoias in the park were more 3,000 years old and must have faced many droughts before but the current drought is probably the most difficult of all them all which has made giant sequoias stressed and on the brink of death.

“The good news is that there were lots of trees that still seem healthy but there was this smaller amount that seemed to be stressed and stressed in ways that we haven’t seen documented before in the park.” The study stated.

More than 40 trees were observed stressed due to drought and warm temperatures. “That’s the kind of stress that could kill a tree.” Study suggests. 

California is about to enter the fifth-year of a record breaking drought. Not only state’s residents are facing difficulties due to drought but it could possibly a great threat to the species of trees as well. The state’s government has made it mandatory to cut back use of water. But they are unable to find innovative water saving methods.  

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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.




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