Two members of a family of trees that girded the earth twenty-five million years ago are making their last stand in California. These cousin evergreens, the elegant redwood of the Pacific Coast and the giant sequoia of the Sierra Nevada, are the world's largest living things and nearly the oldest. Their family traces its ancestry to the time of dinosaurs, when no flowering plants or leafy trees yet existed. And trees that are alive today were seedlings as much as 3,000 years ago.
Galileo thought no tree could rise to even three hundred feet, but some redwoods approach four hundred. How a tree can support this height and why it probably cannot grow much taller are just two of the fascinating questions Robert Silverberg answers. His lively narrative tells the story of the discovery of the trees, discusses the individual characteristics of the two species, and explains their place in the world of living things. The conflict between lumbermen and conservationists begun nearly one hundred years ago is described right up to the creation of a new national redwood park in the fall of 1968. Information of interest to both tourists and conservationists is included, along with a stunning collection of photographs.