Atlas Grove

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An arborist in front of the coast redwood Iluvatar, a tree of the Atlas Grove.

Atlas Grove is a nickname for a grove of coast redwood trees in California at Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. It contains the third largest coast redwood, Iluvatar.

According to author Richard Preston, the Atlas Grove was discovered by naturalist Michael Taylor in 1991.[1]

Among tree hunters and botanists, some trees are given names unofficially. On the other hand, over 900 groves have been named in honor of people, families or organizations: said to be an "everlasting memorial to an individual, family or organization".[2] Nobody has openly disclosed or discounted whether the Atlas Grove is one of over 900 dedicated memorial groves.

A part of the Atlas Grove was studied; referred to as the Atlas Project, confined to approximately 1 hectare. The location of this stand of trees is undisclosed. For importance, the Atlas Grove is virtually on par with the Grove of Titans, another undisclosed grove with titan redwoods.

Trees in the stand were measured with tapes and laser range finders. 20 days, with 5 climbers, was spent just for measuring Iluvatar. Scientific studies were done with moisture, light and sap flow sensors. Wildlife in the grove was studied too, including the wandering salamander (Aneides vagrans).

This grove contains other old coast redwoods including Atlas Tree, Gaia, Pleiades, Ballantine, Prometheus, Bell and others. Neighboring species include Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis), bigleaf maple (Acer macrophyllum), Cascara buckthorn (Rhamnus purshiana), California laurel (Umbellularia californica), western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla), Port Orford–cedar (Chamaecyparis lawsoniana) and tanoak (Lithocarpus densiflorus).


  1. ^ Preston, Richard (2007). The Wild Trees: A Story Of Passion And Daring. Allen Lane Publishers. page 82.
  2. ^ Save the Redwood Memorial Groves List (2008). Save the Redwood Memorial Groves List. List of Memorial Groves

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