Redwoods in Orange County?

Redwood Grove in Brea, California

Redwood Grove in Brea, California

My love affair with trees started as a kid growing up in the Pacific Northwest.  I grew up camping and hiking in the national forests of Oregon.  I love the fresh clean air, shade and endless trails the forest provides.  When I found out there was a small grove of Redwoods here in Orange County I had to go see them for myself.

The trees are in Brea, California inside Carbon Canyon Regional Park. The trail isn’t what I would consider a hike, but it is an easy walk well worth doing to see the trees.  The paths are well maintained and good for all skill levels and young children.  In the middle of this dry, dusty canyon rises a small grove of beautiful sequoia trees.  I took the photo above from the hillside using a wide-angle lens to show the size of the trees and the terrain outside the grove.  The surrounding landscape is dry and the plant life appears dead except for a few struggling cacti.

The moment I stepped into the grove I noticed a dramatic difference.  The air was much cooler and the trail became damp and even muddy in some areas.  The air was fresh and sweet too.  The day I went there was a nice breeze and it felt wonderful after the dusty walk to get there.  I could have spent all day under these big beauties.

The story behind the grove is interesting.  According to the park’s Nature Center, in 1975 coastal redwood seedlings were given away as part of a promotion from a local bank.  After the promotion ended, the bank still had 600 seedlings.  The bank donated them to the Fullerton College agricultural center.  Later the college donated them to the county.  The trees were planted, and the redwood grove was born.  Since being planted, many of the trees have grown to over 100 feet.  Although I’m not a tree expert, the trees seem to be too close together to grow to their full height of 400 feet.  Many of them are struggling to survive and there is a large amount of dead underbrush, but this may just be part of the drought we’re experiencing in California.

If you need to beat the heat or just need a change of scenery I would recommend this trail.



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