Share Your Story
Rick and Barbara from the Russian River area of Sonoma County shared with us an albino redwood growing on their property. Located in the center of a fairly ring of second growth redwoods, this pure white mutation has been known by mushroom foragers since the 1950’s. Today this modest albino redwood stands in about 10’ tall. There are several small standards on the mutation which appear to have grown and died back over the years. According to Rick and Barbara, this year the albino redwood foliage doesn't appear to be as lush as in years past. The 2020/2021 winter season was off to a slow start so many redwoods in the area were drought stressed. This could have contributed to the albino's sparse look. Thanks again Rick & Barbara for sharing this nearly 70 year old albino redwood with Chimera Redwoods!
Follow up report to: 2017 Tales of White Trees . Dennis from Erwitte Germany sent us fresh pictures of his seven-year-old sectorial albino chimera he named ‘Soluna’. The tree is approximately 4’ tall and to date is still the only chimeric albino Sequoia sempervirens known outside the United States. From these latest pictures, we can see that the tree’s foliage has also developed into a pale green albino chimera. This combination is exceptionally rare to see and similar to the virecent foliage seen on the Cotati Tree. Although the cause of the mutation is still undetermined, the cold weather of Germany appears to be playing a role. There have been reports from the Netherlands of Coast Redwoods exhibiting mottled appearing foliage. Thanks again Dennis for keeping us up to date with your chimeric redwood.
While hiking above the Sonoma Coast near the town of Jenner, a San Francisco photographer named Eric H. came across this basal albino redwood. The mutation appears to be relatively young exhibiting vigorous shoots. Located only a mile from the coast, Eric reported that the albino redwood was found near a group of dead redwoods. It possible that the trees died due to a slow-moving landslide. A field investigation will need to be done to see if stressors may have played a role in causing this mutation. Thanks Eric for sharing this discovery with us.
A few years back Barbara J. from Central Oregon reported that she had an aerial albino redwood growing in her backyard. No pictures were available at the time but we took Barbara for her word and marked it down for a future visit. The opportunity to see this albino came in the end of February and was definitely worth the visit. Growing in a fan like shape, this NCV albino redwood spreads throughout the lower crown of the main tree. The parent redwood was purchased as a sapling from Trees of Mystery in 1990 & planted out in Barbara's back yard the same year. Around the year 2000 the mutation started developing into the large aerial NCV albino that we see today. Barbara believes that pollution from a near by creek may be the reason why this mutation formed within her redwood. Thanks Barbara for the visit and providing the historical account on the tree.
Jared M. from Oakland gave us an update on the status of an albino redwood growing in the Oakland hills. The tree was originally reported to us by a lady named Wendy in the 2016 Tales of White Trees article. As we can see, the albinism has grown and expanded in the last four years. Follow up reports like this are important in tracking the growth patterns within these mutations. They may be able to tell us if their growth is continuous, cyclical or if they’re in decline. Tracking this data, we can compare information from the local weather history to see if there’s a correlation with growth and climate variations with albino redwoods. Thanks Jared for your photos and the update on the tree.
Sophia C. from the San Francisco Peninsula shares with us pictures of a small yet beautiful chimeric albino redwood she discovered on her neighbor’s tree. This little gem of a mutation appears to have only formed within the last few years. Due to its tiny size, albino redwoods this small can either continue to grow or disappear altogether. Because of Sophia’s sharp eyes, we’ll be able to track this little diamond in the rough years to come.
Tree enthusiasts Jeff. M revealed to us a truly one of a kind discovery. Located in the Southern Sierra, Jeff found this aerial albino on a Sierra Redwood, otherwise known more commonly as a Giant Sequoia. As of this writing, there are less than five known cases of albinism on Sequoias within their natural range. This extraordinary find is important in understanding if mutations on this tree species behave similarly to what’s seen on Coast Redwoods. Jeff has explained that this mutation formed on a tree which is currently experiencing changes to its soil environment. Cattle and the waste they’ve produced have been accumulating around the tree. This in turn can change the micronutrients available for the trees which they have depended on for thousands of years. Whether soil is the cause of this mutation remains to be seen, but what’s becoming clear is albinism is occurring on redwoods that have been affected by foreign introductions to their natural environment. Thanks again Jeff for this spectacular find!
Four years after chimeric albino redwood cones were discovered, Landscaper Lucas Dexter Vice President of Dexter Estate Landscapes came across another amazing redwood exhibiting the same variegated characteristics. Located in the in the heart of the wine growing region of Napa Valley, a planted Coast Redwood displays an aerial albino more stunning in appearance then the first discovery. With fanning branches in swirls of yellow and green, this mutation revealed something that few have ever seen. Tucked away behind these yellow branches were variegated albino and green chimeric cones.
In the pictures we see the three C's: 'clear characteristics of chimerism' by the well-defined albino/green boarder running through both sides of the right cone. What's intreaguing is how the boundaries between the genotypes do not follow the diamond shape pattern seen when the cones start to split open later in the fall. Seeds originating from these boarder sections may produce chimeric seedings. A joint effort is underway to collect the cones and attempt to propagate the seeds.
Another view of this beautiful aerial albino chimeric redwood.
Aside from this redwood discovery, Lucas has a passion for collecting rare Japanese Maples and has transformed his property into a small personal nursery. Each year Lucas adds to his collection & creates new plant introductions that he grafts himself. Most recently, he has been working with the International Oak Society to introduce a new selection of a Blue Oak that he found. Again, much thanks to Lucas for sharing this amazing find.
Jane from West Sonoma County shares with us this a vigorous growing basal albino redwood in her neighborhood. Originally discovered in 2014 as a thin & sparsely needled tree, this years growth appears to have taken off following the heavy winter rains of 2018/2019. Follow-up reports like Jane’s are important to the research we do at Chimera Redwoods. By monitoring these mutational changes over the years, we may be able to correlate albino redwood survival or mortality due to weather changes within the environment. Factors like: temperature extremes, droughts, floods, & fire may play a role in better understanding growth patterns within these chlorophyll deficient trees.
Thanks, Jane, for the follow up with this unique little tree.
As the old saying goes “good things come in threes" After a relatively quit year for albino redwood reports, September appears to have made up for lost time. Last but not least, the month’s final report was quite stunning. After following up on lead of a white topped redwood growing among the quite orchards of Sutter County, I was amazed when I pulled up to find this golden topped aerial albino redwood. The center of the crown is albino with small sectors of chimerism. What’s unusual about the tree is that it's located below power lines and receives trimming annually. This heading back of the crown contributes to the vigorous regrowth of albino foliage. According to the owner Manuel, it appears the mutation started sometime around 2004 as a small white growth.
Ground shot showing the beautiful coloration in the crown.
What’s dumbfounding about this discovery, is you have a rare albino phenomenon growing on a solitary tree in an area where few Coast Redwoods have been planted. With the combination of the scarcity of the mutation to the ratio of trees planted per square mile, leads researchers to believe that manmade influences are most likely causing inland albino redwoods to occur. It’s thought that a combination of soil fertilization & high UV light may be initiators for albino redwood formation.
Drone view showing the true brilliance of this golden mutation. In the upper center of the picture, one can see a few chimeric shoots exhibiting both white and green foliage.
Owners Manuel & Sally who have always regarded the tree as special, continue to safeguard it into the future. Thank you both for your stewardship for such an important tree.
Closing out the year, we received a pleasant Christmas surprise with the report of this spectacular basal albino redwood. Known by locals since the mid 1950's, this albino redwood stands around 8' tall and is the pure white phenotype. David K. from Sonoma County reported this find while biking in the hills west of Healdsburg. Thanks David for your postcard shot of the tree.
Catharina from the Russian River Area of Sonoma County shared with us this beautiful aerial chimeric redwood growing on a low branch. The mutation drapes down in a mosaic array of green and yellow. Based on the number of growth cycles the mutation exhibits, it appears this albino redwood formed sometime around 2014.
Amazingly this not the only albino redwood Catharina has found. To date she has discovered three more aerial albino redwood sites throughout Western Sonoma County. Thanks again Catharina for reporting your latest finds to Chimera Redwoods!
Executive Director Stan Dodson with Oakland Trails Org stands in front of an albino redwood nestled deep within the Oakland Hills. This small white giant stands about 30’ tall & was discovered by Stan in 2016. The tree is pure white and is the more common type of albino redwoods seen. As a steward to wildland trails, Mr. Dodson will add this tree to his list of unique features that can be found in the parks surrounding the Oakland Hills.
Thanks again Stan for reporting this beauty of tree. You can find more about Oakland's wildland parks here at this link: Oakland Trails
Ed from Central Mendocino County kneels besides a Non-Chimeric variegated albino redwood on his property. This particular albino redwood produces green tips that revert white over time. The sparsely growing mutation is small, but makes up for its lack of size by the rarity of its color pattern.
Known by local ranchers from years past, this albino redwood remained forgotten in the woods until a gentleman named Randy came across the research done at Chimera Redwoods. He remembered an old rumor that a ghost redwood was hiding in his neighborhood. Randy reached out to the previous property owner named Bill to follow up on the tale. Bill confirmed the story was real and gladly showed Randy that the ghost tree was indeed fact not fiction. Once the albino redwood was rediscovered, Ed was pleasantly surprised to find out that he had an albino treasure growing on his property.
Again, a big shout out to Randy, Ed, & Bill who made this rediscovery possible.
Brad from Northern Oregon thought he had stumbled across an ordinary but rare albino redwood growing south of Portland. After being put in touch with Chimera Redwoods from friends at Crowfoot Nursery, a closer inspection revealed that this tree wasn’t any ordinary redwood. Exhibiting multiple mutations throughout its canopy, this sign could only mean one thing. Brad had discovered the 6th known grand chimera in existence. Sporting a diameter greater than 5’ and an estimated height of 129’, he had not only found an extraordinary tree but may have found the tallest one to date.
The discovery marks an interesting milestone as this is the second tree of this type to be found in Oregon. Considering how extremely rare these trees are to begin with and how few redwoods there are in Oregon when compared to California, it’s astounding to have two of these grand chimeras in that state. With that in mind, researchers will have to conduct more exploration trips to the Pacific Northwest.
Currently Brad is working with the owners to inform them of this important discovery and hopes steps can be taken to protect its future. Thanks Brad for the pictures & sharing your amazing find!
Also a note of appreciation for Michael & Paulie at Crowfoot Nursery for putting us in touch with Brad. For more information about the tree, see the periclinal chimera section within the website here: Periclinal Chimera
Chuck & Christina of Marin County share with us an aerial albino growing from a redwood on their property. The mutation is quite small and appears to be only 3-4 years old. Interestingly there are a few chimeric branches laced within the mutation which points to more complex genetics than first thought. Another curious oddity is this albino has been exposed to ground pollution (sewage & waste oil) which again might be pointing to a possible man-made cause of this mutation. Over the years we’ll be watching this one for further changes. Again, thanks Chuck and Christina for reporting this albino redwood.
Dennis from Erwitte Germany has sent us these pictures of a four year old Coast Redwood seedling that he propagated. Amazingly this year it has started developing sectorial chimerism and is the only case outside the United States that we’re aware of. According to Dennis, the seedling germinated out of a group of two hundred seeds collected from the Sequoiafarm Arboretum located in KaldenKirchen Germany. The arboretum is known for containing impressive stands of coast redwoods & holds a collection some consider home to the most cold tolerant strains in the world. At a latitude equal with Calgary Canada, winter temperatures frequently fall below freezing. It is not uncommon for temperatures to dip down to 5 F°/-15 C° pushing the cold tolerant limits with the species. Dennis is currently working on a breeding project with Coast Redwoods to find and develop the most cold tolerant strains available. Due to these weather extremes, it’s speculated that Dennis’s sectorial chimera may have been a result of cold induced mutation during cell division.
For more information on the history of redwoods in Germany, see the link here to Sequoiafarm. Note: you'll need to use the 'translate' feature on your browser to view the page in English. Sequoiafarm Kaldenkirchen
Warren from Marin County shared this beautiful draping albino chimera with Chimera Redwoods. Tom met up with him and was pleasantly surprised to see a large branch exhibiting an eight-foot section of mutated foliage. The branch growing from a normal green redwood creates a beautiful mosaic pattern of green and yellow. According to Warren, this aerial chimera is about ten years old and appears to be getting larger. Thanks again Warren for sharing this super find!
Wendy from the East Bay reported this cellular green albino redwood growing elusively in the Oakland Hills. We had reports of this albino redwood back in 2013 and explored the area with no luck. Thanks to Wendy and her dog Annie, we were able to track down this beautiful find. Appearing quite photogenic, this cellular green albino redwood appears to be growing independently from other nearby redwoods. Under the surface, this albino redwood is connected to the root system of the green redwood behind it.
Located deep within the forests of Mendocino County, Howard shares with us this white albino redwood known by early homesteaders since the 1930’s. Passed on by word of mouth by just a few people over the years, this tree is making its first public debut. The tree stands around 12 feet tall & has accumulated layers of duff from years of redwood needle replacement. As the fragile albino foliage dies, other new sprouts take its place. Over time albinos like this become beautiful hedges. Thanks to Saundra at Joe's R/K & Grill for putting us in touch with Howard.
Lead Wildlife Biologist Shad & his botanist coworker Haley shared with us four beautiful white albino redwoods near Anderson Valley in Mendocino County. The tallest stands in at just under 30 feet. Known since the 1950’s, these trees have been carefully protected by Mendocino Redwood Company who’s managing the surrounding forest. Thanks to their good stewardship, these albino redwoods should continue to live on for many more years to come.
Pete from Sacramento County (not pictured) shares with us the third mottled albino redwood known in existence. The tree is approximately 15 years old and was obtained at the California State Fair. For unknown reasons the tree mysteriously started producing variegated foliage at a young age. Pete hopes to train his tree into a full-size redwood that one day may rival the super chimeras found within this website. Best to luck Pete and thanks for sharing this truly one of a kind redwood!
Originally discovered around dusk by a gentleman named Will, this little sprig of a tree appeared to glow at twilight in the darkness of the forest. Lucky for Will, timing of the light can be everything when looking for albino redwoods. At times too much light and dark contrast can camouflage these trees into the background of obscurity. Sometimes the perfect moment arrives when the lighting is just right to reveal these trees as was in Will’s case. Even the best researchers have walked by albino redwoods hiding in the shadows just a few feet away. Thankfully, Will led us to the tree in the light of the day.
The small white albino redwood Will found is hidden on the banks of a creek in western Marin County. It’s growing between two larger green redwoods and appears only to be a few years’ old.