Redwoods and Douglas fir heaven for Tree Addict


Having the opportunity to visit, see and touch the giant coastal redwoods of northern California has been way up there on my bucket list. Ever since I was given a copy of Rob van Pelts book, Forest Giants after winning a tree climbing competition in 2005 in Stellenbosch, South Africa, the passion to see these great trees has been burning.



That opportunity presented itself in 2012 when I attended an international society of arboriculture conference in Portland. My wife Tracy and I flew in and drove straight down to Crescent city, northern California –

“Redwood is unsurpassed in magnificence by any other conifer; and no coniferous forest of the continent equals in impressiveness, beauty, and luxuriance the redwood forests of northern California’"– Charles Sargent, 1900

We met up with Mario Vaden—a redwood guide who also happens to be an arborist and who knew where all the great trees were and how to get to for 2 glorious days, we three wandered through the primeval forests and ended up seeing many of the trees Rob von Pelt drew and a bunch of others.



Rob van Pelts amazingly accurate drawings of the coastal redwoods

Of course, I was sorely tempted to break the law and ninja climb at least one of them, but reason prevailed and I desisted.

Check out some of these shots showing the size of these things.


 Howland Hill Giant -

Ht 100.3m DBH 602cm Volume 951m3


 Del Norte Titan

Ht 93.6m DBH 723cm Volume 1045m3


 El Viejo del Norte

Ht 98.8m DBH 674cm Volume 924m3

One of the gnarliest redwoods ever


Lost Monarch

Ht 97.8m DBH 768cm Volume 768m3

This tree has the largest single redwood trunk known


You can figure this out for yourself. Puts a whole new meaning to “How’s it hanging?”


Sir Isaac Newton

Ht 94.8m DBH 701cm Volume 940m3

The large burl above my head is estimated to weigh 20 tons




Seeing is believing with these trees! I am dwarfed by the scale.



Ht 91.4m DBH 614cm Volume 1033m3

The most architecturally complex tree on earth