Lonely Planet Writer

The world's largest tree comes to Europe as first redwood forest planted in Cornwall

Europe got its first ever redwood trees today after a forest of the huge American trees was planted in Cornwall.

Redwood forests in California
Redwood forests in California Image by Jan Hazevoet

The Eden Project based in south-west England today collaborated with the Archangel Ancient Tree Archive based in Michigan to bring these giants of the American West coast to Europe.

The Redwoods are the tallest living things in the world and grow mainly in California and Oregon. They can grow up to 115 metres tall and live for 150 years. But many have been cut down or are under threat from severe droughts in the area as well as forest fires.

Redwoods can grow up to 150 metres tall
Redwoods can grow up to 150 metres tall Image by Jason Hollinger

Cornwall was chosen as the ideal location for the forest given its foggy and often damp climate in which redwoods thrive.

The hope is that the 40 saplings will grow to be at least 25 metres tall by the year 2050.

Eden co-founder Sir Tim Smit stressed the importance of the project to the Guardian and its role in archiving and preserving a beautiful species under threat. ““This will become a unique collection of the tallest living things on earth. The redwoods will stand at Eden for, we hope, thousands of years to come.”

Big Basin Redwoods State Park near San Francisco.
Big Basin Redwoods State Park near San Francisco. Image by Javi / CC BY-SA 2.0

40 saplings were planted today, some the result of cloning the famous Fieldbrook stump, one of the most famous trees in the world that was felled in 1890 when it was 3500 years old. It would in all likelihood been the largest tree in the world.

Read more:

Redwood National and State Parks 

The Perfect California trip