January 9, 2017

Maybe you should have thought about that when you decided to carve a tunnel though a tree.

"Iconic Sequoia 'Tunnel Tree' Brought Down By California Storm."

That tree was over 1,000 years old. The tunnel was also old. Not that old, but old. It was a 19th century idea to carve tunnels in sequoias. There was a more famous one, the Wawona Tree in Yosemite National Park. Nature lodged her objection to that one 1969 when she sent a storm to crush human hubris.

Suddenly, there are no tunnel sequoias left. But there are some coastal redwoods — like this one, used — exploited humiliatingly — in a Geico ad.

65 comments:

harryo said...

A big tree is like a fat man when he falls into the orchestra pit.

John said...

I don't think the tunnel had that much to do with it.

When I went to Yosemite a few years back all the big redwoods were well fences off. The explanation was that they have very shallow root systems. They extend out a long ways but not very deep.

That makes them very subject to erosion which is why they did not want people walking on top of them.

Also, being very high, makes for an incridibly powerful lever.

John Henry

harkin said...

Now trees can be humiliated?

traditionalguy said...

Several Redwood groves dot California from Big Sur to Sonona Valley, but the remaining Redwood forest is four hours north of San Francisco and is seldom seen unless one is driving to or from Oregon. This Drive thru tree was in a Private amusement park type area right off the Highway.

In the dense forest there are a fallen tree trunks like this every 100 feet, and the surprise is the have nearly no downward root system to withstand winds. The roots go sideways and sprouts from the sideways roots grow the new trees, ad infinitum. They rot slow.

Hint:Pictures of Giant Sequoias are useless. Being there next to that size living thing is the awesome experience.

Original Mike said...

Trees are born to fall down.

gadfly said...

"If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

Of course it does. Redwoods scream 'Help, I'm falling" in native Sequoia Tree Hum but only dogs hear them.

David said...

At least the drought is over.

David said...

If a tree falls in a forest, can you still hug it after it hits the ground?

John Tuffnell said...

Also, being very high, makes for an incredibly powerful lever.

Even the trees get high in Cali

Gahrie said...

exploited humiliatingly

How do you humiliate an inanimate object?

campy said...

Please tell me we can impeach Trump for this crime against Holy Mother Gaia?

Gk1 said...

We visit the redwood trees up near Mendocino and in one of the parks it has a placard noting that the sound of a falling redwood can be picked up on a seismograph. It is right next to enormous redwood that toppled in 1972 and shows the seismic recording of when it hit the ground.

traditionalguy said...

When a Redwood hits the ground, you can walk along it like a driveway. The hard part is getting up onto it.

Fernandinande said...

"If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason." -- J.H.

Original Mike said...

Gecko: "All we really need is a tow truck."

I think you have more than enough people there to push it out of the way.

Curious George said...

It would make one mother of a deck.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

What is the object for the humiliation? Does the tree feel humiliated? Does the CGI gecko feel humiliated? Puzzling.

Unrelated: The Trees

harryo said...

Gk1 said......it has a placard noting that the sound of a falling redwood can be picked up on a seismograph

When the Apollo 12 LEM crashed into the Moon, the seismograph the astronauts had just set up, recorded the impact. The Moon rang for an hour like a bell.

Richard said...

I remember this Looney Tunes cartoon where they chopped down giant redwood trees to make a single toothpick.

Michael K said...

Somewhere, I have a photo of my VW van in a tunnel redwood from about 1962.

Sad to see them fall.

Chuck said...

Be careful, Althouse...

If you go too far in blaming man's hubris in carving tunnels in Sequoias, we won't be able to blame man's hubris in changing the global climate.

The good news in all of this is that no Cadillac Escalades were harmed by the falling tree.


Humperdink said...

I have been timbering my small patch of woods for 20 twenty years now. Every time I come across a blowdown, I scope out how many 1" boards I can get. The logs for boards, the tops for firewood.

Big, old snarly trees are good for one thing - firewood.

Fernandinande said...

That lizard talks funny. Let's kill it.

William said...

What will they do with the fallen redwood? Firewood. Souvenir coasters. Siding for Meryl Streep's new home. It seems wasteful to just let it lay there and rot when it could be used in so many ways to serve humanity.

harryo said...

Michael K said...Somewhere, I have a photo of my VW van in a tunnel redwood from about 1962.

Our house was destroyed in the 1962 Columbus Day storm (Typhoon Freda). It looked like a nuclear bomb had hit it. Actually, it was a Douglas Fir that hit it, and the power lines sparked setting it on fire. We watched it burn from our neighbors house.

My dad and mom just sat silently holding each other, and my dad saying "well, I guess we won't have to paint the living room now."

Whenever I see a house on fire, I get an erection. I'm not sure if this is normal.

buwaya said...

"Hint:Pictures of Giant Sequoias are useless. Being there next to that size living thing is the awesome experience."

Ditto, go look if you can. We used to go every year when my wife's uncle was still living up there. She's from an old North Coast family on her moms side.

Hagar said...

"The Log Cabin Redwood."
I think this one was cut through by a man who then set up housekeeping in it and charged tourists for interviews and oictures.

traditionalguy said...

The Northern California Redwood area also has a river that runs through it that seems to be a small stream with 100 yards of boulders along either side of it. In the winter, Pacific ocean storms run off flood them way over the boulders and nearby roads, and they are luck if the steel bridges are found in place after the storm.

Rusty said...

Can a Sequoia be humiliated? Are they capable of knowing their being humiliated?
What about talking geckos?
Just what did the little fella have to do to get that gig anyway?

The Drill SGT said...

Big, old snarly trees are good for one thing - firewood.

add burl tables or live edge furniture

The Drill SGT said...

William said...
What will they do with the fallen redwood? Firewood. Souvenir coasters. Siding for Meryl Streep's new home. It seems wasteful to just let it lay there and rot when it could be used in so many ways to serve humanity.


when I was young, my California suburb was full of homes with redwood fences out back and redwood outdoor tables

...since it is in a State park, I suspect it will rot for the next hundred years...

jimbino said...

"Hint:Pictures of Giant Sequoias are useless. Being there next to that size living thing is the awesome experience."

But the pictures are all there is for those many Amerikans, including almost our Blacks, Browns and Native Ameriklans, who almost never set foot in a taxpayer-funded national park, forest or BLM reserve and are even almost entirely missing from Nature, NatGeo, Discovery and Ken Burns documentaries about those racist "public" reserves.

Quaestor said...

jimbino wrote: But the pictures are all there is for those many Amerikans, including almost our Blacks, Browns and Native Ameriklans...

Jimbino is one of those morons who began spelling America with a K back in the 60's because they thought it would get them laid, but unlike the majority who wised up when bellbottoms failed to retain their market share, he continued in the harebrained conceit just to point out to the rest of us how fascistic we all are by using C.

Unfortunately, his habit backfired. Either senile dementia has him by the throat, or he thinks Indians are racists. Which is it, Jimmy boy?

Quaestor said...

jimbino wrote: ...who almost never set foot in a taxpayer-funded national park, forest or BLM reserve and are even almost entirely missing from Nature, NatGeo, Discovery and Ken Burns documentaries about those racist "public" reserves.

Jimbino's solution is to round up "our Blacks, Browns and Native Ameriklans" (using the possessive modifier) and deliver them to national parks in exact proportions with gubmint actuaries present to make sure. Yeah, and use paddy wagons and prison buses to do it, right?

Quaestor said...

...since it is in a State park, I suspect it will rot for the next hundred years...

The Sierra Club will insist since leaving trees to rot is Nature's Way. It is also Nature's Way not to build reservoirs and hydroelectric dams. Consequently, this timely drought relief will be wasted as muddy runoff. CA hasn't increased it's reservoir capacity in 50 years thanks to the Sierra Club and the snail darter even though the population has doubled in the interim.

Bad Lieutenant said...

harryo said...
Michael K said...Somewhere, I have a photo of my VW van in a tunnel redwood from about 1962.

Our house was destroyed in the 1962 Columbus Day storm (Typhoon Freda). It looked like a nuclear bomb had hit it. Actually, it was a Douglas Fir that hit it, and the power lines sparked setting it on fire. We watched it burn from our neighbors house.

My dad and mom just sat silently holding each other, and my dad saying "well, I guess we won't have to paint the living room now."

Whenever I see a house on fire, I get an erection. I'm not sure if this is normal.
1/9/17, 11:55 AM


harryo, may we please rat you out to the authorities now or should we wait till you hurt someone?





jimbino said...
"Hint:Pictures of Giant Sequoias are useless. Being there next to that size living thing is the awesome experience."

But the pictures are all there is for those many Amerikans, including almost our Blacks, Browns and Native Ameriklans, who almost never set foot in a taxpayer-funded national park, forest or BLM reserve and are even almost entirely missing from Nature, NatGeo, Discovery and Ken Burns documentaries about those racist "public" reserves.

1/9/17, 12:34 PM

jimbino,

1) avoid run-on sentences
2) you do realize that the mud races ARE ALLOWED to come to the parks, right? No guard dogs, rangers or local militia with Minority Hunting Licenses to keep them out? Is it some necromantic ward that keeps them out of the fresh air and Nature, like a vampire shunning sunlight? Or their inferior cranial capacity? Maybe we should sell the oceans because blacks don't swim?

WTF is this fetish, this obsession with you? Asking for a friend.

Quaestor said...

Can a Sequoia be humiliated?

Ask Julia Lorraine "Butterfly" Hill. She spent two years trying to humiliate a tree.

FullMoon said...

harryo said... [hush]​[hide comment]

Michael K said...Somewhere, I have a photo of my VW van in a tunnel redwood from about 1962.

Our house was destroyed in the 1962 Columbus Day storm (Typhoon Freda). It looked like a nuclear bomb had hit it. Actually, it was a Douglas Fir that hit it, and the power lines sparked setting it on fire. We watched it burn from our neighbors house.

My dad and mom just sat silently holding each other, and my dad saying "well, I guess we won't have to paint the living room now."

Whenever I see a house on fire, I get an erection. I'm not sure if this is normal.

Apparantly you really did not want to help paint the living room?

Humperdink said...

Humperdink said: "Big, old snarly trees are good for one thing - firewood."

The Drill SGT said: "add burl tables or live edge furniture"

That's true, hadn't thought of that. We don't do much of that around our way.

A live edge table from that tree could seat the politburo.

Quaestor said...

Whenever I see a house on fire, I get an erection. I'm not sure if this is normal.

Get an MRI... quickly.

buwaya said...

"CA hasn't increased it's reservoir capacity in 50 years"

And has been reducing it, and in many places may be low on capacity for their other purpose, flood control. The levees may be another thing to worry about.

Yancey Ward said...

I remember my first face to face encounter with a Sequoia in Yosemite. Traditionalguy is right- pictures of them really can't prepare you for the experience (even the ones with people or vehicles for perspective on scale)- even though I knew what to expect to see, I was still completely stupified on actually seeing one.

viejo loco said...

Give it a break, Professor. I am sure they thought it would be a great thing to tunnel a tree; I doubt they meant any ddisrespect to the trees and their image. I think they were impresse.d

JAORE said...

"...use paddy wagons and prison buses to do it, right? "

Nope, cattle cars. There is historic precedence.

Four of our close group of traveling friends rented motorcycles and rode the pacific coast this year. Both the redwoods and sequoia side trips were included. Astounding.

Michael McNeil said...

Several Redwood groves dot California from Big Sur to Sonona Valley, but the remaining Redwood forest is four hours north of San Francisco…

The Santa Cruz Mountains, occupying Santa Cruz County and the southwestern limit of Santa Clara County southeast of San Francisco have plenty of genuine (far from just “groves”) Redwood forest.

Jupiter said...

harkin said...

"Now trees can be humiliated?"

Yeah, I think Meryl Streep said something about that in her Oscar acceptance speech.

gadfly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
EDH said...

Althouse commenter Lem crashed into the moon in 1970?

Like a big pizza pie?

exhelodrvr1 said...

Even the trees are disheartened by Trump's victory.

jimbino said...

Bad Lieutant: Maybe we should sell the oceans because blacks don't swim?


1) You must not know what a run-on sentence is, and
2) Yes, if our minorities were taxed to purchase and maintain the oceans, as they are to maintain the White Country Club parks and forests, we should sell them and refund their money.

exhelodrvr1 said...

jimbino,
So the cost of public schools should be paid solely by people whose children attend them?

TWW said...

I was I a forest just the other day and pissed on a tree. You want to talk about humiliation?!

jimbino said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jimbino said...

Exhelodrvr1: So the cost of public schools should be paid solely by people whose children attend them?

Of course. In proposing the elimination of public involvement in national reserves and education, I am proposing only what our hero Milton Friedman has proposed. Just wait: after DeVos implements his plan to eliminate public "education," she may well manage to implement his plan to privatize the racist public lands.

Fritz said...

We visited Big Trees Park in Calavaras County this summer. Those trees never fail to impress. But they don't live forever. It just seems that way from our perspective.

An odd thing about them is that young Coast Redwoods and Giant Sequoias (different trees often confused) is that they don't grow up well in their own forests. It takes a pretty severe fire to generate the bare mineral soil and plentiful sunlight on the ground that the seedlings take to thrive. Other more shade tolerant species tend to grown up in grove, and take over as the giants slowly die off. A Redwood grove is a temporary thing. Long-lived but temporary.

Lauderdale Vet said...

"Suddenly, there are no tunnel sequoias left."

The only one I knew of, actually, was the Chandelier Tree.

Did something happen to that one, too?

Lauderdale Vet said...

Looks like it is alive and well.

Jon said...

Sounds good to me, Jbo

David Baker said...

Years ago there was a movement within the Forest Service to carve out a 4-way sequoia intersection, with a traffic light. This according to my ex-sister-in-law who at the time was dating a forest ranger.

320Busdriver said...

At first I thought the tree that fell was the California Tunnel Tree in the Yosemite Mariposa Grove of Sequoia. We toured that area several years ago and I have a nice shot of my kids standing inside the base of the tree. After some reading I found that this event was not that tree, but the pioneer cabin tree in Calaveras Big Tree park.

It would seem that the California Tree is still intact.
The trees in the Mariposa Grove are truly wonders of nature. Wiki lists it as the only remaining tunnel sequoia remaining and that area of the park has been closed for restoration and will reopen this summer.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mariposa_Grove

Michael McNeil said...

An odd thing about them is that young Coast Redwoods and Giant Sequoias (different trees often confused) is that they don't grow up well in their own forests.

There seems to be a tendency for folks to run together in their heads characteristics of the Giant Sequoias of the (inland) Sierra Nevada range, and their cousins the giant Coast Redwoods (tallest trees in the world) of coastal California. At any rate, the foregoing assertion, while it may be true for the inland Sequoias (I lack the experience with them to know), certainly isn't true for the coastal Redwoods — which, as noted before, grow in whole lush forests (with plenty of fledgling redwoods in the understory) not just “groves.”

320Busdriver said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
320Busdriver said...

A favorite spot for me was always to visit Muir Woods(redwoods) whenever possible. But the scale of the sequoia I saw in the south of Yosemite were truly awe inspiring. The Grizzly Giant has a base diameter of 30 feet.

Mountain Maven said...

The tree is a metaphor for progressivism. Took western civ 1000s of years to grow. Progs hollowed it out. 21st century stem destroyed it

John said...

The tunnel was cut in the 1880s. Seems like blaming the tree's fall on something that was done almost a century and a half ago is a bit of a stretch.

John Henry