Coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens (D. Don) Endl.) grows in the coastal zone of north-central California and southern Oregon in pure and mixed-species forests. Redwood has long been recognized to exhibit unusual patterns within the annual growth rings typical of temperate forest trees, including partial and missing rings and ring-width anomalies. However, these patterns have not been quantified beyond a few suppressed trees. This study quantified the variation in ring counts occurring in 22 second-growth redwood trees from different canopy classes. Ring counts from cross sections taken at sample points along each tree bole revealed missing or incomplete rings in all sample trees and 70% of the cross sections. Ring counts along multiple radii were used to calculate probability of obtaining a maximum ring count along one radius. This probability was lowest at the tree base (0.25) and breast height (0.30) and highest near the top of the tree (0.90). Because of the high amount of variation present in ring counts at breast height, care should be taken when drawing conclusions regarding stand ages from increment cores. Increment cores should be taken from the longest axis of the tree and coring at tree base can be abandoned as cores are not likely to have higher ring counts than breast height cores.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Plant Science