If you’ve never been to California to see its giant redwoods, you should probably go soon. It might be only a matter of time before they’re all gone. Research released Friday indicates that the world’s oldest trees are dying at an alarming rate. “It is a very, very disturbing trend,” says lead researcher William Laurance of James Cook University. “We are talking about the loss of the biggest living organisms on the planet, of the largest flowering plants on the planet, of organisms that play a key role in regulating and enriching our world.”
These haven’t been painted. The phenomenon is caused by patches of bark peeling off at various times and the colors are indicators of age. A newly shed outer bark reveals bright greens which darken over time into blues and purples and then orange and red tones.