There are three living species of redwood trees: two in northern California and one in China. While once native to North America, dawn redwoods are limited to a small valley in China, and coastal and sierra redwoods are limited to California. Although often confused with redwoods, sequoias are a different species of tree.
Dawn redwoods are deciduous, while the other types of redwoods are evergreen. The coastal redwood, also known as the giant redwood, is the largest tree in the world. A single tree contains enough wood to build 40 houses. They grow taller than the Statue of Liberty.
Redwood trees have very strong survival tactics. When forest fires burn toward a redwood, the 1-foot-thick bark acts as a shield to protect the tree. When a redwood falls, the branches pointing upward continue to grow as trees in a straight-line formation called a candelabra grove. If someone cuts a tree, new growth surrounds the 90-foot circumference of the stump to create a cathedral grove of trees. As each tree in the cathedral and candelabra groves are clones of the original, they all have identical DNA. They also reproduce using seeds that form in their cones.
Redwood lumber is very long-lasting. It is poisonous to termites and resistant to rot. Even when buried, the wood decays very little after a thousand years, thus the biomass of a redwood forest is greater than that of an Amazon rainforest.