After a massive wildfire swept through California's Big Basin Redwood State Park in 2020, the state's iconic trees seemed to be dying. But then tiny sprouts began to peek through the charred remains. Now, a new study shows that the trees tapped into ancient carbon reserves and bud tissues that formed 2000 years ago, when the giant trees were still saplings. To accurately date the carbon being used to fuel new growth in the coast redwoods, the researchers used a form of radiocarbon dating. The trees' stores of carbon include a mix of newer and older carbon. Newer carbon is absorbed and used faster, and whatever is left is saved up and left relatively untouched. The latest findings suggest the state's redwoods are more resilient to wildfires than previously thought.

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