Trees of Life

When I said that I would be spending last week in a little cabin in the big woods, I meant really big woods.

We helped our daughter and her family move to California, and then we did something that I have always wanted to do.  We went to Sequoia National Park, home of the giant redwoods.  How big are they?  Well, the one named “General Sherman” is the largest living thing in the world.  It’s 35 feet in diameter and is as tall as a football field.  And, even more astounding to me, is that it’s 2,200 years old.  It was a sapling two centuries before Jesus was born.  And it’s still alive, still growing.  It adds the equivalent mass of a regular 60 foot tree every year.

And there are whole groves of these giant trees up in the Sierra Nevada mountains.  I treasure things that are sublime–overwhelming, awe-inspiring, so vast that you can’t take them all in–like the Grand Canyon, Niagra Falls, and these trees.

What intrigues me most about them is that they are virtually immortal.  They can be killed, of course, cut down as many stupidly have been and sometimes they get so tall that they topple, but they don’t die of old age.  I wonder how that can be.   Every other earthly creature, whether plant or animal or human,  lives for awhile but eventually its cells get exhausted, entropy sets in, aging manifests its symptoms, and eventually the organism dies.

Why don’t the giant redwoods?  General Sherman is not even the oldest of these trees.  Some are 3,000 years old, from the time of the Trojan War and King David.  And redwoods are not even the oldest species.  A bristlewood pine in the White Mountains of California–somewhere else I want to go–is 4,700 years old.  A young earth creationist would put that as being right after the Flood!  Perhaps these evergreen trees are somehow not implicated in the Fall.  Perhaps they are some kind of remnant or sign of the Tree of Life.

What are some other sublime sights and experiences?  A tornado, the ocean, the Rocky Mountains–I’ve seen those.  I’ve seen Mt. St. Helens, but I think I need to see an active volcano.  Outer Space.  And God, of course, and the things of God.  The sublimities of nature and of art–Paradise Lost, Bach’s music, Michaelangelo’s paintings and sculptures–give us pleasure, according to Ruskin, because they point to Him.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • #4 Kitty

    Every other earthly creature, whether plant or animal or human, lives for awhile but eventually its cells get exhausted, entropy sets in, aging manifests its symptoms, and eventually the organism dies.

    Lobsters might also be an exception.

  • #4 Kitty

    Every other earthly creature, whether plant or animal or human, lives for awhile but eventually its cells get exhausted, entropy sets in, aging manifests its symptoms, and eventually the organism dies.

    Lobsters might also be an exception.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    If I’m going to see a tornado or a volcano, I want to see it from a safe distance!

    Devil’s Tower is beautiful. Also, the Badlands is beautiful as well. I’d also recommend Providence Canyon in the south, it’s basically a miniature Grand Canyon that formed in the span of a century (and a fun little example of why the earth does not “have” to be millions of years old as some assert).

    Also recommended: Northern Lights and falling stars, God’s natural fireworks.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    If I’m going to see a tornado or a volcano, I want to see it from a safe distance!

    Devil’s Tower is beautiful. Also, the Badlands is beautiful as well. I’d also recommend Providence Canyon in the south, it’s basically a miniature Grand Canyon that formed in the span of a century (and a fun little example of why the earth does not “have” to be millions of years old as some assert).

    Also recommended: Northern Lights and falling stars, God’s natural fireworks.

  • WebMonk

    Minor correction – the oldest tree as counted by tree rings began growing almost 4900 years ago. That is about 200 years before the Flood happened if the Flood’s date is calculated using genealogical chronologies.

  • WebMonk

    Minor correction – the oldest tree as counted by tree rings began growing almost 4900 years ago. That is about 200 years before the Flood happened if the Flood’s date is calculated using genealogical chronologies.

  • Tom Hering

    Dawn. The day breaking, and the natural world awakening. Spring. Warmth returning, and the natural world coming back to life. Both events always enrapture me. They’re Jesus times. Intimations of resurrection, new heaven and new earth.

  • Tom Hering

    Dawn. The day breaking, and the natural world awakening. Spring. Warmth returning, and the natural world coming back to life. Both events always enrapture me. They’re Jesus times. Intimations of resurrection, new heaven and new earth.

  • Stephen

    A child being born.

  • Stephen

    A child being born.

  • Megan

    My daughter will be studying Creation to the Fall of Rome in history this year in our home school. Thanks for the reminder that I have these ancients just a couple hours from us. I think a field trip may have to be in order.

  • Megan

    My daughter will be studying Creation to the Fall of Rome in history this year in our home school. Thanks for the reminder that I have these ancients just a couple hours from us. I think a field trip may have to be in order.

  • http://theoldadam.com/ Steve Martin

    Those giant redwoods in California are magnificent. The only thing more massive and awesome in California is our massive debt (thanks to the liberals and their union handlers).

    Those beautiful trees and all other gifts of God will be burned up one Day. And our Lord will usher in something new. Something better. The life of the world, as with our lives, are not progressing…but are being brought to an end.

    But wait…there’s more! (in Him)

  • http://theoldadam.com/ Steve Martin

    Those giant redwoods in California are magnificent. The only thing more massive and awesome in California is our massive debt (thanks to the liberals and their union handlers).

    Those beautiful trees and all other gifts of God will be burned up one Day. And our Lord will usher in something new. Something better. The life of the world, as with our lives, are not progressing…but are being brought to an end.

    But wait…there’s more! (in Him)

  • Jesse Yow

    Travel to the largest of the Hawaiian Islands, and visit Kilauea. The volcano has been erupting (mostly quietly) for about 30 years. Depending on when you visit, you can stand on new land that is only a few weeks old!

    P.S. Thanks for the post, Tom. I am watching light from the rising sun work its way down the trees from top to bottom, and it reminds me of God’s gift of a fresh new day.

  • Jesse Yow

    Travel to the largest of the Hawaiian Islands, and visit Kilauea. The volcano has been erupting (mostly quietly) for about 30 years. Depending on when you visit, you can stand on new land that is only a few weeks old!

    P.S. Thanks for the post, Tom. I am watching light from the rising sun work its way down the trees from top to bottom, and it reminds me of God’s gift of a fresh new day.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    I saw an active Volcano once – we were on a flight from Johannesburg to Brussels, and the sun had risen over the Mediterranean – and we passed Sicily. Mount Etna, which was active at the time, with a plume trailing off, presented a magnificent sight – even at a relatively great distance.

    BTW, the largest single living organism (one individual) is actually a fungus – Armillaria Ostoyae, from Oregon. It covers nearly 4 square miles. Of course, that doesn’t really satisfy the non-microbiologists…. (see http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=strange-but-true-largest-organism-is-fungus)

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    I saw an active Volcano once – we were on a flight from Johannesburg to Brussels, and the sun had risen over the Mediterranean – and we passed Sicily. Mount Etna, which was active at the time, with a plume trailing off, presented a magnificent sight – even at a relatively great distance.

    BTW, the largest single living organism (one individual) is actually a fungus – Armillaria Ostoyae, from Oregon. It covers nearly 4 square miles. Of course, that doesn’t really satisfy the non-microbiologists…. (see http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=strange-but-true-largest-organism-is-fungus)

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Of course, being a geologist, I also greatly enjoy ancient extinct volcanoes – the most magnificent of these that I have visited being Gross Brukkaros in Southern Namibia – German Wikipedia has a short page on it, with a photo that doesn’t do it justice: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brukkaros

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Of course, being a geologist, I also greatly enjoy ancient extinct volcanoes – the most magnificent of these that I have visited being Gross Brukkaros in Southern Namibia – German Wikipedia has a short page on it, with a photo that doesn’t do it justice: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brukkaros

  • SKPeterson

    KK – You’re now not too far to travel to Mt. St. Helens in Washington State – it is still grumbling and somewhat active, though sleepy for now. It’s dome was growing quite rapidly a few years ago, but it began to slow down and I haven’t heard if it’s stopped or not. I had several flights through Seattle and/or Spokane delayed or rerouted due to ash plumes coming up from St. Helens 5 or 6 years ago.

    The extinct one I’ve seen most up close in the U.S. is the distinctive, but ever so remote, Capulin in northeastern New Mexico. It’s an almost perfect cone. Also, the lava flows and scenery around Crater Lake, Oregon. Most people don’t realize that Crater Lake and St. Helens are part of the same still-active system of volcanoes which extends from Mt. Shasta up through Mt.’s Rainier and Baker in the U.S. and up into BC. Our little part of the Ring of Fire.

  • SKPeterson

    KK – You’re now not too far to travel to Mt. St. Helens in Washington State – it is still grumbling and somewhat active, though sleepy for now. It’s dome was growing quite rapidly a few years ago, but it began to slow down and I haven’t heard if it’s stopped or not. I had several flights through Seattle and/or Spokane delayed or rerouted due to ash plumes coming up from St. Helens 5 or 6 years ago.

    The extinct one I’ve seen most up close in the U.S. is the distinctive, but ever so remote, Capulin in northeastern New Mexico. It’s an almost perfect cone. Also, the lava flows and scenery around Crater Lake, Oregon. Most people don’t realize that Crater Lake and St. Helens are part of the same still-active system of volcanoes which extends from Mt. Shasta up through Mt.’s Rainier and Baker in the U.S. and up into BC. Our little part of the Ring of Fire.

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com John

    Webmonk, we also have to consider dendrochronology. Because of weather trends, each ring in a tree is a different width. This creates a “barcode” if you will – by matching up tree rings, we can count backwards through multiple trees, beginning with the living, and moving to the dead. The current oldest forest by this count is a forest of white oaks along the Rhine, for which we can count back just over 10K years of tree rings. Fascinating to think of a forest just sitting by a river for all those years. Maybe even sublime.

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com John

    Webmonk, we also have to consider dendrochronology. Because of weather trends, each ring in a tree is a different width. This creates a “barcode” if you will – by matching up tree rings, we can count backwards through multiple trees, beginning with the living, and moving to the dead. The current oldest forest by this count is a forest of white oaks along the Rhine, for which we can count back just over 10K years of tree rings. Fascinating to think of a forest just sitting by a river for all those years. Maybe even sublime.

  • Grace

    Dr. Veith,

    I’m so glad you saw the giant redwoods. They are breathtaking. I saw them for the first time (I was about six) when my parents drove to a pastors conference in the state of Washington. It was a wonderful time, the beauty of northern California, Oregon and Washington is not to be missed.

    There are beautiful parks in northern CA, where people picnic. The trees are so thick, there is only a glimmer of sunlight that peeks through. Reading your story made me want to jump in the car with our dogs, and drive straight up north for the fourth of July.

    God bless you Dr. Veith, have a wonderful 4th of July.

  • Grace

    Dr. Veith,

    I’m so glad you saw the giant redwoods. They are breathtaking. I saw them for the first time (I was about six) when my parents drove to a pastors conference in the state of Washington. It was a wonderful time, the beauty of northern California, Oregon and Washington is not to be missed.

    There are beautiful parks in northern CA, where people picnic. The trees are so thick, there is only a glimmer of sunlight that peeks through. Reading your story made me want to jump in the car with our dogs, and drive straight up north for the fourth of July.

    God bless you Dr. Veith, have a wonderful 4th of July.

  • Stephen

    What everyone seems to be talking about is awe. Why is it that natural phenomenon can do this? I think, for one thing, these kinds of encounters in themselves can be the antithesis of the sentimentality or nostalgia we attach to a range of other human emotions associated with our experience. And yet it is like love. I think it is because these experiences of nature are embedded in time in a way that is beyond the ordinariness of our normal experience of it. They transcend it even as they so often give us a heightened sense of it – like the difference between kronos and kairos. They are ahistorical. I think that is also why they seem like “religious” experiences in that they connect us (re-ligio) to time that is outside of time. And it is why we revere them.

    4700 or 4900 or 10,000. Does it matter?

    Swimming with dolphins.

  • Stephen

    What everyone seems to be talking about is awe. Why is it that natural phenomenon can do this? I think, for one thing, these kinds of encounters in themselves can be the antithesis of the sentimentality or nostalgia we attach to a range of other human emotions associated with our experience. And yet it is like love. I think it is because these experiences of nature are embedded in time in a way that is beyond the ordinariness of our normal experience of it. They transcend it even as they so often give us a heightened sense of it – like the difference between kronos and kairos. They are ahistorical. I think that is also why they seem like “religious” experiences in that they connect us (re-ligio) to time that is outside of time. And it is why we revere them.

    4700 or 4900 or 10,000. Does it matter?

    Swimming with dolphins.

  • http://www.caryschwarz.com saddler

    “Going to the Sun Road” Logan Pass, Glacier National Park, Montana. I’ve seen a lot of mountains, but these are the most majestic bar none…. but no one goes there anymore, it’s too crowded.

  • http://www.caryschwarz.com saddler

    “Going to the Sun Road” Logan Pass, Glacier National Park, Montana. I’ve seen a lot of mountains, but these are the most majestic bar none…. but no one goes there anymore, it’s too crowded.

  • Craig

    Bryce Canyon National park is the most stunning sight I have ever seen. Looks like another planet. Absolutley beautiful. Zion NP, about two hours away, is beautiful and serene in as well. You can see both of these and the north rim of the Grand Canyon without all that much travel. all evidence of God’s glory!.

  • Craig

    Bryce Canyon National park is the most stunning sight I have ever seen. Looks like another planet. Absolutley beautiful. Zion NP, about two hours away, is beautiful and serene in as well. You can see both of these and the north rim of the Grand Canyon without all that much travel. all evidence of God’s glory!.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    John and I stopped at the Twisted Forest a couple years ago. It is in Utah, not too far from Brian Head. We went looking for Agate, but it was one of the most sublime places I’ve been too, and I’ve been to a few. It’s an overlooked attraction. Funny, not even many Utahns know about it, or have ever been there. You can see some pictures of it in this link. The trees are also very old.
    http://www.utahmountainbiking.com/trails/twisted.htm
    I read an article not too long ago in the local paper claiming the oldest tree is actually in the Stansbury Mts. where I live, But I haven’t hiked up to see it. I wouldn’t even know where to look, as the forest service tries to keep its location a secret.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    John and I stopped at the Twisted Forest a couple years ago. It is in Utah, not too far from Brian Head. We went looking for Agate, but it was one of the most sublime places I’ve been too, and I’ve been to a few. It’s an overlooked attraction. Funny, not even many Utahns know about it, or have ever been there. You can see some pictures of it in this link. The trees are also very old.
    http://www.utahmountainbiking.com/trails/twisted.htm
    I read an article not too long ago in the local paper claiming the oldest tree is actually in the Stansbury Mts. where I live, But I haven’t hiked up to see it. I wouldn’t even know where to look, as the forest service tries to keep its location a secret.

  • kerner

    I’m getting two schools of thought on the issue of the natural life span of trees. With at least one group saying that trees, like any other organism, do have natural life spans. It just seems like they could live forever, because the life spans of some species are so long.

    http://www.idahoforests.org/trivia1.htm

  • kerner

    I’m getting two schools of thought on the issue of the natural life span of trees. With at least one group saying that trees, like any other organism, do have natural life spans. It just seems like they could live forever, because the life spans of some species are so long.

    http://www.idahoforests.org/trivia1.htm

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Then there is this type of forest: http://www.namibia-1on1.com/quivertreeforest.html

    One of the more unusual “forests” I’ve visited….

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Then there is this type of forest: http://www.namibia-1on1.com/quivertreeforest.html

    One of the more unusual “forests” I’ve visited….

  • Kathy

    We visited there on our honeymoon 28 years ago – one of my favorite places. As a homeschooler, I like to talk about how all of creation testifies of our Creator. The sequoia are a great study.

  • Kathy

    We visited there on our honeymoon 28 years ago – one of my favorite places. As a homeschooler, I like to talk about how all of creation testifies of our Creator. The sequoia are a great study.

  • Grace

    Kathy, I love this passage of Scripture, and the following verses.

    The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
    Psalms 19:1

  • Grace

    Kathy, I love this passage of Scripture, and the following verses.

    The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
    Psalms 19:1

  • Kathryn

    Great Picture!
    Yes, the White Mountains are well worth seeing – we have some neat tree here in CA!

  • Kathryn

    Great Picture!
    Yes, the White Mountains are well worth seeing – we have some neat tree here in CA!

  • Stephen

    Driving up into the Rockies about a year or so ago as snow started to fall I had a thought: From our perspective, these things appear so immense and magnificent. Again, it is that sense of awe. But then I realized that within the universe, even the part of it we know something about, these things are actually quite small really. I began to have the sense that creation can also testify to God’s divine humility. As I thought about it, that God would create anything at all is rather stunning, and that it should appear for us with such beauty and power, for me, was to behold his willing condescension, that is, in a positive sense – the Father who does actually love in a manifest way. What we call glory in nature is evidence of mercy.

    California Gray Whales migrating.

  • Stephen

    Driving up into the Rockies about a year or so ago as snow started to fall I had a thought: From our perspective, these things appear so immense and magnificent. Again, it is that sense of awe. But then I realized that within the universe, even the part of it we know something about, these things are actually quite small really. I began to have the sense that creation can also testify to God’s divine humility. As I thought about it, that God would create anything at all is rather stunning, and that it should appear for us with such beauty and power, for me, was to behold his willing condescension, that is, in a positive sense – the Father who does actually love in a manifest way. What we call glory in nature is evidence of mercy.

    California Gray Whales migrating.

  • #4 Kitty

    What are some other sublime sights and experiences?

    Carl Sagan used to say that we’re made of “star stuff”. What he meant was that the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, essentially all of the atoms in our body once resided in the core of a star. And as Neil deGrasse Tyson puts it “we are not figuratively, but literally star dust”.
    So, when I look up at the stars; that’s home.

  • #4 Kitty

    What are some other sublime sights and experiences?

    Carl Sagan used to say that we’re made of “star stuff”. What he meant was that the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, essentially all of the atoms in our body once resided in the core of a star. And as Neil deGrasse Tyson puts it “we are not figuratively, but literally star dust”.
    So, when I look up at the stars; that’s home.

  • kerner

    Interesting forest KK @19. Personally, I appreciate the irony of the Angeles National Forest, much of which is devoid of trees of any kind. :D

    http://www.panoramio.com/photo/42921556

  • kerner

    Interesting forest KK @19. Personally, I appreciate the irony of the Angeles National Forest, much of which is devoid of trees of any kind. :D

    http://www.panoramio.com/photo/42921556

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Stephen – you mention whale watching: Our last holiday in SA, before immigrating to Canada, included a whale watching trip off Cape Town. In one 3 hour trip we saw a Humpback family group, a Southern Right Whale, and a Bryde’s Whale. Truly magnificent….

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Stephen – you mention whale watching: Our last holiday in SA, before immigrating to Canada, included a whale watching trip off Cape Town. In one 3 hour trip we saw a Humpback family group, a Southern Right Whale, and a Bryde’s Whale. Truly magnificent….

  • Gary

    The Bolton Strid — Yorkshire
    The Boiling Lake — Dominica
    Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park — Madagascar
    The Corryvreckan Maelstrom — Scotland
    The Afar Triangle — Africa
    Ramree Island
    Ilha de Queimada Grande; A.K.A. Snake Island
    Aokigahara Forest
    The Overtoun Bridge
    Winchester Mystery House
    The Sedlec Ossuary
    San Zhi Resort
    Prypiat

  • Gary

    The Bolton Strid — Yorkshire
    The Boiling Lake — Dominica
    Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park — Madagascar
    The Corryvreckan Maelstrom — Scotland
    The Afar Triangle — Africa
    Ramree Island
    Ilha de Queimada Grande; A.K.A. Snake Island
    Aokigahara Forest
    The Overtoun Bridge
    Winchester Mystery House
    The Sedlec Ossuary
    San Zhi Resort
    Prypiat

  • Stephen

    KK

    I went out on a boat in Laguna Beach, CA several years ago and got pretty close to some migrating whales. I stayed in Laguna many times with friends when I worked in CA for a couple years. I could watch the whales pass through in the winter and early spring months from their deck.

    There are certain animals that the mere fact of their existence astonishes me, and whales would have to be at the top of the list. That they are air-breathing mammals is practically incomprehensible. I got to touch an Orca at Sea World just by dumb luck. I had taken my niece and nephew there and got picked out of the crowd to be part of the show. I stood about ten feet away from it and gave commands and got soaked (part of the schtick), and at the end I got to come right up to it and stroke a flipper. I also got to swim with some rescued dolphins in the Florida Keys a while back as a birthday present from my wife. They reminded of horses, and like the Orca, they are as soft as a new baby.

    As for horses, I could watch them all day long. I’ve painted a few pictures of them. We have some at the end of the road that we go and visit often. We keep an extra bag of carrots in the fridge just for them. Riding a horse in open country can be quite amazing too. I rode an Arabian once like that. Unlike a muscular quarter horse, they are more lean and just kind of float. Ah, horses! Someday . . .

    And then there’s bald eagles, but that’s another story. This has really got me thinking about experiences I’ve had in the natural world.

  • Stephen

    KK

    I went out on a boat in Laguna Beach, CA several years ago and got pretty close to some migrating whales. I stayed in Laguna many times with friends when I worked in CA for a couple years. I could watch the whales pass through in the winter and early spring months from their deck.

    There are certain animals that the mere fact of their existence astonishes me, and whales would have to be at the top of the list. That they are air-breathing mammals is practically incomprehensible. I got to touch an Orca at Sea World just by dumb luck. I had taken my niece and nephew there and got picked out of the crowd to be part of the show. I stood about ten feet away from it and gave commands and got soaked (part of the schtick), and at the end I got to come right up to it and stroke a flipper. I also got to swim with some rescued dolphins in the Florida Keys a while back as a birthday present from my wife. They reminded of horses, and like the Orca, they are as soft as a new baby.

    As for horses, I could watch them all day long. I’ve painted a few pictures of them. We have some at the end of the road that we go and visit often. We keep an extra bag of carrots in the fridge just for them. Riding a horse in open country can be quite amazing too. I rode an Arabian once like that. Unlike a muscular quarter horse, they are more lean and just kind of float. Ah, horses! Someday . . .

    And then there’s bald eagles, but that’s another story. This has really got me thinking about experiences I’ve had in the natural world.

  • Orianna Laun

    One of the saddest stories of the giant redwoods is the Chicago Stump. http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/sequoia/recreation/things_to_do.html
    It was cut down for the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893. It was too big to ship in one piece, so the cut it and reassembled it for display. People thought it was a hoax because they did not believe a tree could be so big. Having grown up in California, I can understand this skepticism. I have been to the Big Woods State Park. Those woods aren’t so big– unless they were referring to the land area the woods used to cover.
    As for sublime sights, I would say the dawn in the desert with the mountains nearby. Even in Las Vegas the sunrise is wonderful. A sublime experience would be hearing–better yet being part of–a choir singing a well-done choral work. A few times come to mind, and the thought still gives me chills.

  • Orianna Laun

    One of the saddest stories of the giant redwoods is the Chicago Stump. http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/sequoia/recreation/things_to_do.html
    It was cut down for the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893. It was too big to ship in one piece, so the cut it and reassembled it for display. People thought it was a hoax because they did not believe a tree could be so big. Having grown up in California, I can understand this skepticism. I have been to the Big Woods State Park. Those woods aren’t so big– unless they were referring to the land area the woods used to cover.
    As for sublime sights, I would say the dawn in the desert with the mountains nearby. Even in Las Vegas the sunrise is wonderful. A sublime experience would be hearing–better yet being part of–a choir singing a well-done choral work. A few times come to mind, and the thought still gives me chills.

  • Quahog

    Hold on a minute — 4900 years ago gets you only as far as 2900 B.C.

    Ussher dated the creation to 4004 B.C. Plenty of time.

  • Quahog

    Hold on a minute — 4900 years ago gets you only as far as 2900 B.C.

    Ussher dated the creation to 4004 B.C. Plenty of time.

  • Phil

    An interesting thing about the redwoods is how they are able to supply their leaves with water. It would take a large amount of water pressure to move water from their roots to the leaves. The range of the coast redwoods is restricted to the fog belt, where the atmospheric moisture helps supple their water requirements.

    The reason trees do not live forever is that trees need to keep growing to survive. They need to add a ring of new growth to transport water and nutrients. As the tree increases in circumference, this requires more energy. Trees can only increase their photsynthetic capacity to a certain point. Then growth will slow and the tree will be more susceptible to insects and diseases. One of the reasons the intermountain bristlecone pine (the oldest tree) lives so long is that it grows on top of dry cold mountains in Neevada where insects and diseases do not do well.

  • Phil

    An interesting thing about the redwoods is how they are able to supply their leaves with water. It would take a large amount of water pressure to move water from their roots to the leaves. The range of the coast redwoods is restricted to the fog belt, where the atmospheric moisture helps supple their water requirements.

    The reason trees do not live forever is that trees need to keep growing to survive. They need to add a ring of new growth to transport water and nutrients. As the tree increases in circumference, this requires more energy. Trees can only increase their photsynthetic capacity to a certain point. Then growth will slow and the tree will be more susceptible to insects and diseases. One of the reasons the intermountain bristlecone pine (the oldest tree) lives so long is that it grows on top of dry cold mountains in Neevada where insects and diseases do not do well.

  • skyorrichegg

    @Quahog however I believe Ussher dates the FLOOD around 2350 BC…

  • skyorrichegg

    @Quahog however I believe Ussher dates the FLOOD around 2350 BC…

  • WebMonk

    Phil, one of the other “advantages” the bristlecone has in living in such a cold, cry climate is that each year of growth is very small and doesn’t add much in the way of width.

    Between that and the relative lack of diseases and insects you mention, bristlecones have one of the best environments for tree-longevity, even though that same environment is very harsh on organisms in general.

  • WebMonk

    Phil, one of the other “advantages” the bristlecone has in living in such a cold, cry climate is that each year of growth is very small and doesn’t add much in the way of width.

    Between that and the relative lack of diseases and insects you mention, bristlecones have one of the best environments for tree-longevity, even though that same environment is very harsh on organisms in general.


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