SoHum Chamber’s Featured Destination of the Week: A Ghost in the Forest
Every week the Southern Humboldt Chamber of Commerce features a destination of the week. We’ll be sharing their posts here to celebrate our community.
Please note: The albino redwood trees are becoming well known and popular, and not so much a local secret anymore. You can google it and detailed information will pop up about the trees, and where to find them. You can also find out information from the Humboldt County Convention & Visitor’s Bureau, along with contacting the Weott Visitor Center. Our goal with this write up is to boost the post and reach out to people outside the area, in hopes of having them come our way and keep our area thriving.
A Ghost in the Forest
With a walking stick in one hand and a water bottle in the other, you continue your hike on one of the many significant trails located within Humboldt Redwoods State Park. As the afternoon sun settles through the trees, you can hear the slight musical sound of birds singing a soft melody. After an entire day of hiking amongst our redwood forests, it’s time to stop and rest your legs. Just up ahead you see an old growth redwood tree that has fallen, imbedded deep into the ground. Propping up your walking stick and taking a seat, you begin to immerse yourself in the beauty that is all around you. As your eyes scan the forest floor in awe of the vibrant ferns scattered all around, impressed with the sheer size of these giant redwood trees, something catches your eye in the distance. Up ahead you see something glistening in a small sliver of light that appears to be white. As curiosity gets the better of you, you decide to investigate. As you get closer to the unknown object you think to yourself, “What’s a journey without a little adventure”. Crossing down in and over a dry creek bed, you pull yourself up to the other side. Hoisting yourself up you let out a small gasp as you see what is glowing right in front of you! Standing tall is a bright, white Albino tree!
Humboldt County is known for its redwoods but have you heard of one that is actually white? There are in fact roughly 50 known albino redwoods in existence, and six of them can be found in Humboldt Redwoods State Park! Two of these rare trees are just a short walk from the Avenue of the Giants, a 31 mile stretch of that cuts through Humboldt Redwoods State Park. One, the 30-foot high Christmas Tree is located in the Women’s Federation Grove, a few miles just north of the small town of Weott. The other, the 20-foot tall Spirit Tree, sprouts from the base of a giant redwood in a grove about three miles north of the town Redcrest.
The forest ghosts tend to hide in the darkest parts of our old growth forests and often leave visitors astounded! Their snow-white needles lack any pigmentation, which often makes them “glow” against the backdrop of their shady environments. Without any pigmentation, this means that their needles are white rather than green. Without chlorophyll, the green substance that allows plants to convert sunlight into food, the ghost redwoods attach themselves onto the roots of nearby normal redwoods for sustenance.
While very rare, the trees have actually been recorded in Native Amercian legends. The story goes that some tribes once used them for cleansing ceremonies, according to one historian.
These tall forest ghosts that hide within the depths of our parklands, are a definite must see! They glisten amongst our shaded woodlands often giving our forests a wintertime glow!
As you pack your bags, boots, walking stick and map out your next trip to Humboldt, here is a helpful link to the Leave No Trace website, which encourages seven very important principles of outdoor ethics: https://lnt.org/learn/7-principles .
“Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations!”