History / Inspiration
These circles of redwoods were Oakland’s very first landmark. Ships sailing into the bay would use them as a natural compass point, a way of orienting themselves in an unfamiliar place. And even if you know exactly where you’re going, a redwood grove is still a good place to get some perspective.
Redwoods have adapted perfectly to the East Bay climate. They’re able to “drink” the coastal fog through their leaves, and their thick, stringy bark makes them naturally fire-resistant. Redwood trees have amazing powers of regeneration — they can send up new sprouts from their roots, branches and even stumps. That’s why redwood forests look so organized: trees often grow in circles around an old stump, or in a straight line along a fallen trunk. When new saplings sprout in a circle, it’s known as a fairy ring or cathedral spire. Even the baby trees are probably older than you are, though — a redwood sapling only grows about an inch per year.