Age of the giant sequoias

Sequoia National Park in California USA Photo Google Earth
Sequoia National Park in California USA Photo Google Earth

A considerable volume of fact and fiction has been printed and many conflicting claims have been made regarding the age of sequoias as well as of other species of trees. Such stories and claims have created considerable confusion.

Age of the Giant Sequoias of California
National Park Service

The age of a large woody tree can be determined accurately only by an actual count of the annual growth rings on a cross section of the stump or butt log after the tree is cut down. All trees, except the group of monocotyledons to which the palm belongs, customarily produce a narrow layer of new wood just under the bark each year. There is a slight difference in the appearance of the wood cells produced in the spring and those produced in the summer. In some species this variation is more evident than in others, but it usually provides a visible series of concentric annual rings that may be counted. An estimate of the growth rate may be secured by using an increment borer to obtain a core showing the annual rings. It is not practical, however, to remove a core more than 2 feet deep in most trees, so that accurate information concerning only the more recent growth may be obtained.

All trees grow faster during their youth than later. For example, during the first 75 years in the life of a giant sequoia it may increase in diameter at an average rate of an inch every 3 to 5 years, but in some veterans it may require more than 20 years to produce a diameter increase of an inch. It is impossible to say with any appreciable degree of accuracy just how old a large standing and living tree may be.

The most accurate data for estimating the age of standing trees are obtained from fallen or cut trees of comparable size which grew under similar conditions and whose growth rings have been counted. Such counts made on a large number of sequoias of various sizes reveal that there may be a wide variation in the age of trees of approximately the same size. For example, ring counts made on two giant sequoias about 15 feet in diameter above the butt swell revealed that one was 2,410 years old and that the other was a mere youth of only 1,740 years.

Claims of great age have been presented for many species of trees. The baobab of Africa has been estimated to reach an age of perhaps 4,000 years, but to date no authentic ring count has been presented. The banyan of India has an estimated age of 3,000 years, which is fairly well authenticated by historical data. The tule cypress of Oaxaca, Mexico, has been variously estimated to be from 2,000 to 5,000 years old, with 3,000 the estimate of the most expert investigator. Claims of age of living trees up to 12,000 years have been made for several species, including the Macrozamia of Australia which is a cycad and does not produce annual rings. The age of palms, cycads, and other monocotyledons is estimated by counting the number of persistent leaf bases on the trunk and dividing by the number of leaves probably produced each year. This, of course, may be variable and the result inaccurate. It is significant to note that in practically every case where careful study and comparisons of very large trees have been made by scientists age estimates have been materially reduced from the claims made by enthusiastic boosters, in some cases to less than 1,000 years.

Since actual ring counts on many fallen and cut sequoias show that the age of this species frequently exceeds 3,000 years, and since one was proved to be 3,210 years old, some of the larger trees may exceed 3,500 years in age. On the basis of present verified evidence, the giant sequoia is the oldest living thing on Earth.

A government that fights against trees

The famous and popular tree La Ceiba del Templete in Havana, Cuba perished

The famous and popular tree La Ceiba del Templete in Havana, Cuba perished victim of the Government of the Castro Brothers Photo LinCu Archives
The famous and popular tree La Ceiba del Templete in Havana, Cuba perished victim of the Government of the Castro Brothers Photo LinCu Archives

An organized public walks three times around La Ceiba del Templete, in Havana, Cuba, according to the Havana tradition and beliefs rooted in the population. Photo: Roberto Suarez
An organized public walks three times around La Ceiba del Templete, in Havana, Cuba, according to the Havana tradition and beliefs rooted in the population. Photo: Roberto Suarez

The European Union: a fruit of the Marshall Plan distant in History

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Socialism suicidal weapon. Author: Osval, Cuban
Socialism suicidal weapon. Author: Osval, Cuban

The Marshall Plan (officially the European Recovery Program, ERP) was an American initiative passed in 1948 for foreign aid to Western Europe. The United States transferred over $13 billion (equivalent of about $114 billion in 2020) in economic recovery programs to Western European economies after the end of World War II. Replacing an earlier proposal for a Morgenthau Plan, it operated for four years beginning on April 3, 1948. The goals of the United States were to rebuild war-torn regions, remove trade barriers, modernize industry, improve European prosperity, and prevent the spread of communism. The Marshall Plan required a reduction of interstate barriers, a dropping of many regulations, and encouraged an increase in productivity, as well as the adoption of modern business procedures.

General George C. Marshall, the 50th U.S. Secretary of State
General George C. Marshall, the 50th U.S. Secretary of State (U.S. Department of State)

The Marshall Plan aid was divided among the participant states roughly on a per capita basis. A larger amount was given to the major industrial powers, as the prevailing opinion was that their resuscitation was essential for the general European revival. Somewhat more aid per capita was also directed toward the Allied nations, with less for those that had been part of the Axis or remained neutral. The largest recipient of Marshall Plan money was the United Kingdom (receiving about 26% of the total), but the enormous cost that Britain incurred through the “Lend-Lease” scheme was not fully re-paid to the USA until 2006. The next highest contributions went to France (18%) and West Germany (11%). Some eighteen European countries received Plan benefits. Although offered participation, the Soviet Union refused Plan benefits, and also blocked benefits to Eastern Bloc countries, such as Hungary and Poland. The United States provided similar aid programs in Asia, but they were not part of the Marshall Plan.

Its role in the rapid recovery has been debated. The Marshall Plan’s accounting reflects that aid accounted for about 3% of the combined national income of the recipient countries between 1948 and 1951, which means an increase in GDP growth of less than half a percent.

The labelling used on aid packages created and sent under the Marshall Plan
The labelling used on aid packages created and sent under the Marshall Plan. USAID Graphic Standards Manual

After World War II, in 1947, industrialist Lewis H. Brown wrote (at the request of General Lucius D. Clay) A Report on Germany, which served as a detailed recommendation for the reconstruction of post-war Germany, and served as a basis for the Marshall Plan. The initiative was named after United States Secretary of State George C. Marshall. The plan had bipartisan support in Washington, where the Republicans controlled Congress and the Democrats controlled the White House with Harry S. Truman as president. The Plan was largely the creation of State Department officials, especially William L. Clayton and George F. Kennan, with help from the Brookings Institution, as requested by Senator Arthur Vandenberg, chairman of the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. Marshall spoke of an urgent need to help the European recovery in his address at Harvard University in June 1947.

Great Seal of the United States.
Great Seal of the United States.

The purpose of the Marshall Plan was to aid in the economic recovery of nations after World War II and to reduce the influence of communist parties within them. To combat the effects of the Marshall Plan, the USSR developed its own economic plan, known as the Molotov Plan, in spite of the fact that large amounts of resources from the Eastern Bloc countries to the USSR were paid as reparations, for countries participating in the Axis Power during the war.

The phrase “equivalent of the Marshall Plan” is often used to describe a proposed large-scale economic rescue program.

In 1951 the Marshall Plan was largely replaced by the Mutual Security Act.

The explosion of La Coubre in the Port of Havana

Second explosion of the ship La Coubre in the Port of Havana on March 4 1960 Photo LinCu Archives
Second explosion of the ship La Coubre in the Port of Havana on March 4 1960 Photo LinCu Archives

Sanity, the sacred responsibility of ruling leaders with their citizens, as well as International Law, advise that weapons and explosives cannot be unloaded or handled in civilian ports in any nation in the world. The Castros knew of such a prohibition, and even so they ordered to dock a ship loaded with weapons and explosives in the very heart of the capital and the main city of Cuba.

The explosion of the La Coubre cargo ship in the Port of Havana actually demonstrated that the Castro Brothers, who had recently taken power in Cuba, were very dangerous characters capable of committing massive assassinations to attract the attention of the World to them and their supposed purposes of justice and freedom, not only in Cuba, but also in increasing number of nations of The Americas and Africa since then.

Información original en Español
El sano juicio, la responsabilidad sagrada de los líderes gobernantes con sus ciudadanos, tanto como la Ley Internacional, aconsejan que no se puede descargar ni manipular armas y explosivos en puertos civiles en cualquier nación del Mundo. Los Castro sabían de tal prohibición, y aun así ordenaron atracar un barco cargado de armas y explosivos en el corazón mismo de la capital y la principal ciudad de Cuba.
La explosion del carguero La Coubre en el Puerto de La Habana en realidad demostró que los Hermanos Castro quienes recientemente se habían hecho del poder en Cuba, eran personajes muy peligrosos, capaces de cometer asesinatos masivos para atraer la atención del Mundo sobre ellos y sus supuestos propósitos de justicia y libertad, no solo en Cuba, sino además en número creciente desde entonces de naciones de Las Américas y Africa.
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