Coast redwood trees have two kinds of leaves. The top of the tree has smaller, more compact leaves. These leaves are exposed to more sunlight and wind than the leaves that grow lower on the tree. They lose moisture faster. Their reduced size means less surface area from which water can evaporate.
Leaves growing lower on the tree are in flatter, branching sprays. The photo below shows examples of these leaves. Each year, the tree grows new leaves. You can count the number of sections separated by a bud scar to determine how long each branch of leaves has been growing. Each section is one year's growth. The leaves in the photo have been growing for one or two years.
Back to Ecology page.
Back to Humboldt Redwoods State Park home page.
Revised: 16 January 1997
Copyright © 1997 Humboldt Redwoods Interpretive Association