Tucked away inside a canyon in Yorba Linda is a hidden gem that most people in Orange County don't know about. While most people travel for several hours to see Coastal Redwood Trees, we actually have our own miniature grove right here, 3 acres of them! While not as tall or large as the Sequoias up north, it is still an amazing sight to see and it's very peaceful to sit under them. Unlike the national parks that draw a lot of tourists, this area hardly gets any visitors which means it's quieter and more relaxing.
If you are wondering why this grove is here, that's a great question! It's obviously not their natural range since they require lots of moisture and Orange County is too arid for them. A local bank was handing out seeds for Coastal Redwood trees if you opened an account with them, after that promotion ended, they had about 300 extra seeds remaining. Those seeds were planted at Carbon Canyon in 1975 when the park was created. Since the area doesn't have enough precipitation for these to thrive in, a drip watering system was put in. Just over 200 of these trees remain and some of them now reach 100 ft. tall which is about 1/3 of the height of those in Central California.
Coastal Redwoods are the tallest trees on the planet, reaching up to around 320 ft. and they can live for 2,000 years. Coastal Redwoods are some of the fastest growing conifer trees, growing up to 2-3 feet per year. These trees support entire ecosystems that thrive underneath these canopies as well as high up on them. They grow mainly in coastal regions as they need the moisture that is produced by the ocean throughout the year. Their leaves collect the moisture from the fog and deliver it to the floor where their roots get it along with many other plants and insects.
After these trees were extensively cut down for lumber, only 5 percent of the original forest remains. The Native Americans used wood from redwoods that naturally fell to build canoes and housing but when gold was discovered in California, it was all downhill for these trees. The gold prospectors demanded lots of wood and the lumber industry began logging everything in sight to satisfy their demand. We are lucky some of these trees still even remain.
Carbon Canyon charges $3 per vehicle to park and it is a short 1 mile walk, another option is to park in the residential area behind Carbon Canyon and walk in 1/4 mile from Red Pine Road and Valley View Circle.