In the entire world, there are only ten known albino chimera coast redwoods, all of which are in California. One of these ten trees is being threatened. A tree that stands 52-feet high, but sits in the way of a possible commuter train in a northern California community is facing a cut down. Preservationists are fighting to save this tree from being executed for the sake of the commuter train (read the article here). The tree holds great research value, specifically in why Albino Redwoods exist. With only ten of these trees in existence, it would be devastating to let one go. The scarcity of the tree is what makes it tough to ignore, and the beauty of it makes it even tougher.
The albino tree has branches of white that certainly stand out from other “normal” redwood trees. The unique look and unique survival mechanism of the trees is something that researchers would desperately like to continue to study. The trees do not produce chlorophyll; so they basically survive by being fed by another tree it joins roots with. It’s quite incredible to think that a tree exists without its main source of producing nutrients for growth. Its dependence on other trees proves to be another wonder from Mother Nature. There is no shortage of natural miracles on this planet, but it is interesting to find one like this existing in the Pacific Northwest. Forests hold something majestic, and this science-fiction tale of albino trees holds true.
There is something very scientific about these trees that cause the stir to gather research, but there is also something very symbolic. Trees are quite amazing specimens to begin with. They represent many different areas of the world and are unique to their surroundings and affect the other living organisms around them. One has to wonder how these albino trees are affected, and in turn have an effect on the nature they co-exist with. They rely on a parent, just as any child would. Are these trees affected by the stress of human interaction? Are they a by-product of pollution or a change in the climate over a number of years? In comparison to human evolution and development there is a parallel. As the years pass, new strains of disease, cancers, and defects exist. That is not to say that the albino trees are indeed “different”. Think of how the modern person approaches “different”. Society has taken many big steps in not considering differences to be disabling. The trees rely on their natural society to continue living, and can do so without issue. We recognize that the trees are unique, but their ability to still be a tree is what makes them amazing.
The nickname “Phantom of the Forest” suggests the Albino Redwood does in fact want to remain hidden. The tree did not name itself, but it seems so fitting. A tree that is extremely unique, and only wishes to remain where it stands, without disruption. Obviously, as a growing society we have come to the point where trees “get in the way”. This attitude is tough to wrap my head around. There is something so magical about a tree that has stood in a spot longer than I have been on the planet. All that this tree has seen pass by. The “Phantoms of the Forest” have supporters, and have people fighting for them. I am grateful for these people, who wish to only explain the nature of the tree, but let it remain as it should.