Wednesday, November 12, 2008

How Many Trees Do You Have? | Sequoia National Park

This morning I was listening to NPR on my way to work and heard about an interesting study by a NASA scientist. Using satellite imagery, Nalani Nadkarni estimated that there are approximately 400 billion trees on Earth, or about 61 trees per person. The conversation that followed was about whether this was a lot of trees per person, or few? I think it's too few, especially at the rate that we consume wood-based products -- lumber for our homes, furniture, disposable chopsticks by the billions, and especially paper. As they pointed out on the show, though, trees are not like oil; they are a renewable resource. We'll have to be very careful to ensure proper conservation of the Earth's trees. Even though they are renewable, they are an invaluable resource.

Here are a couple of my very favorite trees: Sequoiadendron giganteum, or Giant Sequoias. These were taken in June in Sequoia National Park. I was there as part of a habitat restoration project so I didn't have much time for photography. When I go back, I'll look forward to shooting early in the morning or late in the day for the best light; exposure is tricky in the forest with bright shafts of light and dark shadows from the trees.

[Click images to view larger.]

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