2 iconic trees scorched in prescribed burn at Calaveras Big Trees State Park are alive

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CALAVERAS COUNTY  – Two iconic giant sequoias, named “The Orphans,” scorched in a prescribed burn last year are alive, according to the California State Parks. 

The sequoias stand in the Calaveras Big Trees State Park in the North Grove area. Now, they are no longer alone after scientists visited the area last month and discovered thousands of giant sequoia seedlings around “The Orphans.” 

“Standing beneath these magnificent trees and seeing the carpet of baby seedlings is incredible,” said California State Parks Central Valley District Superintendent Danielle Gerhart. “Sequoia regeneration is one key forest management goal in Calaveras Big Trees State Park, and witnessing the results of the burn program through this new growth shows the importance of fire in the ecosystem.”

The giant sequoias cannot reproduce in large numbers without fire. Park officials say the heat opens cones and helps release the seeds. The fire also kills competing trees and plants. 

But only a few of the seedlings are expected to survive. Park officials urge people visiting the area to remain on the trail to avoid trampling the new growth. 

“State Parks will continue to work to protect and preserve this land using many different tools and the latest science to manage the resources in the park,” Gerhart said. 

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