A new study proves that the tallest redwood tree in California’s Muir Woods is a mere 777 years old, not 1,500 as previously assumed.
Scientists’ analysis of Tree 76, the tallest tree in Muir Woods located north of San Francisco, determined that the tree is much younger than previously assumed.
The study, out of Humboldt State University, concluded that Tree 76 is only 777 years old which dates back to the 13th century. The 249-foot tree was previously thought to be 1,500 years old.
Tree 76 is now considered a “baby compared with the huge old-growth trees farther north.”
The oldest trees known in California include a coastal redwood near Crescent City that is 2,520 years old and a giant sequoia in the Sierra Nevada that is 3,240 years old.
Tree age is determined by rings which San Francisco’s Save the Redwoods League has been documenting in order to see how California trees are reacting to climate change. Tree rings vary in size on how wet or dry the year was.
Scientists originally assumed that the tallest trees in the Muir Woods were between 1,200 and 1,500 years old but from Tree 76’s ring size it has now been determined it is a mere 777 years old.