Do you recognize this tree?

Part of being a native Californian is to know and love the classic, iconic beauty of the Coast Redwood, also known as sequoia sempervierens.

It is easily the most recognized tree in the Bay Area and has served as muse to artists for centuries — Walt Whitman wrote poetry, Albert Bierstadt painted forests, Van Morrison composed music, and most recently, Richard Powers wrote his Pulitzer Prize-winning The Overstory — all with this magnificent tree as their subject. Piedmont too has been inspired by the Coast Redwood, and selected a grove of the sequoia sempervierens as Heritage Trees in 2019.

The grove of winning trees is located at the intersection of Nova, Wildwood and Magnolia Avenues, and received two nominations from Gail Lombardi and Claire Faughnan (on behalf of Hoe and Hope Garden Club).

Sequoia sempervirens, also known as a Coast Redwood or California Redwood, is the sole living species of the genus Sequoia in the cypress family. It is an evergreen, living 1,200–1,800 years or more. This species includes the tallest (and some of the oldest) living trees on earth, reaching up to 379 feet in height and up to 29 feet in diameter. Before commercial logging and clearing began by the 1850s, this massive tree thrived on an estimated 2,100,000 acres along much of coastal California from Big Sur north to the southwestern corner of coastal Oregon.

The Park Commission is accepting nominations for 2020 Heritage Trees through March 16. To nominate a tree, visit the City’s website and complete the downloadable form. The selected trees will be recognized at this year’s Arbor Day celebration on April 9.

Over the next four weeks, the Exedra will feature a brief article and picture of each 2019 Heritage Tree. The public is encouraged to seek out these trees to appreciate their beauty, history, and significance. By learning more about the trees that comprise Piedmont’s urban forest, the Park Commission hopes to inspire everyone to seek out special trees in our community and encourage nominations for 2020 Heritage Trees.

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