University of California

Big tree: Understory and hidden views


H. H. Biswell
R. P. Gibbens
Hayle Buchanan

Authors Affiliations

H. H. Biswell is Professor, School of Forestry, University of California, Berkeley; R. P. Gibbens is Assistant Specialist, School of Forestry, University of California, Berkeley; Hayle Buchanan, Weber State College, Ogden, Utah, College Teacher Participant, National Science Foundation Grant.

Publication Information

Hilgardia 20(5):2-3. DOI:10.3733/ca.v020n05p2. May 1966.

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Early explorers in the Sierra Nevada described the groves of big-trees, Sequoia gigantea (also called Sierra redwood, or giant sequoia) as essentially clean, open, and parklike. The frequent ground fires of primitive times, started by lightning and by Indians, kept the forest floor relatively clean. Today, as a result of fire suppression, many of the groves have a dense understory of shade-tolerant trees, mainly white fir and incense-cedar. The understory of crowded trees has come to be of considerable concern to people interested in park vegetation maintenance because the small trees add to the fire hazard and partially block out the views of the giants.

Biswell H, Gibbens R, Buchanan H. 1966. Big tree: Understory and hidden views. Hilgardia 20(5):2-3. DOI:10.3733/ca.v020n05p2
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