Albino redwood

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Foliage of an 'albino' redwood

An 'albino'[a] redwood is a redwood tree which is unable to produce chlorophyll, so has white needles instead of the normal green. To survive, it must join its roots to the roots of a normal redwood, usually the parent tree from whose base it has sprouted, from which it obtains nutrition as a parasite.[1][2][3] Only about 60 examples are known.[2] These can be found in both Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park and Humboldt Redwoods State Park, with eight trees in the first. However, the exact locations are not publicized to protect the rare trees.[4] They reach a maximum height of about 20 m (66 ft).[1] Other conifers lack the ability to graft their roots, so 'albino' mutants of other species do not survive to become sizable trees.[1]

The trees were important to Native Americans and were recorded in their legends. For example, the Pomo people used them in their cleansing ceremonies.[5]

Ten cases are known of chimeric redwoods that have a mosaic of albino and normal tissues.[6] Only a single chimeric redwood is known to produce cones. Formerly threatened by the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit rail development,[7] it has since been replanted.[8]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Albinism is defined in various ways. See Albinism in biology

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Stienstra, T. (11 October 2007). "It's no snow job - handful of redwoods are rare albinos". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved December 6, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b Krieger, L. M. (2010-11-28). "Albino redwoods hold scientific mystery". MercuryNews.com. San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved 2012-11-23. 
  3. ^ "A Creepy Monster of the Forest: The Albino, Vampiric Redwood Tree". Discoblog. Discover Magazine. 2010-12-08. Retrieved 2012-11-23. 
  4. ^ "Science on the SPOT: Albino Redwoods, Ghosts of the Forest". YouTube video from Quest. KQED. August 26, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Albino redwoods a winter treat". HUMBOLDT COUNTY CALIFORNIA’S REDWOOD COAST. Humboldt County Convention & Visitors Bureau 322 First Street, Eureka CA 95501 (800) 346-3482. Retrieved 2015-01-25. 
  6. ^ Fimrite, P. (19 March 2014). "Cotati residents, scientists scramble to save albino redwood". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 23 March 2014. 
  7. ^ "California Arborist Fights to Save Tallest Albino Redwood Chimera Tree in Wine Country". California Arborist Fights to Save Tallest Albino Redwood Chimera Tree in Wine Country. NBC Bay Area. Mar 14, 2014. Retrieved 2015-01-25. 
  8. ^ "Rare Chimeric Redwood Tree In Cotati Replanted After Being Moved From Railroad Tracks". Rare Chimeric Redwood Tree In Cotati Replanted After Being Moved From Railroad Tracks. CBS SF Bay Area. Aug 8, 2014. Retrieved 2015-02-15.