How many old redwoods fall during a person's lifetime? In the post below, I mentioned wanting to revisit the old redwood giant that fell back in April. When I arrived near the spot, it appeared two more giants had just been laid to rest. Again, this fall looked extremely fresh, possibly days old. This tree was an old, old giant I think. It had a fire cave, and its bark was covered in lichen. In fact it was a lichen fest.
It appeared that the tree had simply split above the fire cave, perhaps due to it's own weight. While this monster came crashing down, he took one of his neighbors along with it, launching him towards the creek. The smooth under surface of the tree was as slick as ice. I slipped several times walking on it. The above photo does not give a correct representation of the broken base. I could only get about halfway there in the 10 second countdown on my camera, due to the slickness of the tree. I'm guessing I would be half the size if I actually was able to get closer to it.
As I said before, it was a lichen fest. If I knew a little more about lichens, this would have been a gold mine I'd imagine. There were fresh samples everywhere one looked. Attached to branches, bark, thrown from the upper limbs. This tree also took down a few boughs of a tall nearby Douglas Fir. The Douglas Firs seem to collect lots of lichen as well, so there was plenty to look at.
The crash must have been intense. After the original old giant fell and took out his neighbor, the neighbor tree threw debris out into the creek. In fact, these must have been launched like missiles. I saw a young tree across the creek that looked like it had the bark completely torn off about five feet above the ground. I could not cross the creek, so I don't know for sure, but I guess it's possible a chunk of wood crashed into it at great speed and landed on the other side.