cross-posted from:

Raging wildfires in 2020 transformed Big Basin Redwoods State Park in Santa Cruz County from a towering forested cathedral into a standing boneyard with some of the oldest trees on the planet seemingly burned beyond survival.

But soon after the flames were gone, California’s coast redwoods began calling upon a remarkable energy storage system helping these trees survive even after fires burned away every life-sustaining green needle.

Scientists now have an idea about just how far back these reserves go. Researchers studying a stand of severely burned old growth Big Basin redwoods found the trees fed ancient buds that had been hiding underneath thick bark for more than 1,000 years using carbon transformed into sugars with sunlight that shone more than a half-century ago.