My Favorite Trees: Joe Liszewski

This post is the second in a series. Today, we hear from Joe Liszewski, the Executive Director of California ReLeaf.

Mariposa Grove Yosemite National Park

California’s state tree (along with the Redwood, its cousin) is one of my favorite trees, it’s really impossible to pick just one when you work in the tree business! They’re huge and perhaps the largest living trees on Earth. Giant sequoias can live to be 3,000 years old; the oldest recorded specimen exceeded 3,500 years. For me, they truly put everything into perspective and can fill you with wonder, imagining how something can be so gigantic and old. Their beauty and grandeur are something we could all strive for.


For me, the giant sequoias also offer a cautionary tale. What once could be found throughout the northern hemisphere is now only found in scattered groves along the western slope of the Sierra Nevada mountains. Not that we’ll lose species in our urban forests, but that we don’t place enough value on the important role the forests in our yards, our parks, along our streets and in our cities and towns play. I hope that one day our cities and towns will have such a robust canopy cover that we’ll be able to walk out our front doors and find the same feelings that the giant sequoias inspire, that truly we’ll live in an urban forest.