Sequoia trees are very resistant to fire damage for several reasons: thick trunks, a lot of water contained within the tree, lack of pitch (a flammable substance found in some trees), lack of resin in bark, and watery sap. Sequoias actually depend on fire to survive, because it helps in the release of seeds and eliminates less fire-resistant trees from the sequoia’s habitat.
The real danger to a wounded tree is that it is more prone to disease and insect pests, and sequoia trees are good are fending these off with their specific chemical makeup. examining core samples of 3,000 year old sequoias scientists see a history of fire scarring, particularly between 800 and 1300 AD, and these sequoias seem to actually require these frequent but low intensity fires for their health. The seeds of giant sequoias are sewn with the fire, and they grow in the remains of the fire.
I know this sounds backwards, but human activity reduced the frequency of these fires, and scientists are thinking of a way to carefully reintroduce them as the climate warms. Fire histories of trees are now being used to study the relationship between fire, atmospheric carbon dioxide, and the climate.
The question is too complicated to list enough related citations. But I will sufficiently answer your question.
Fire scars are not necessarily damage to the wood or living tissue. A lot of fire scars are merely burn marks on the surface of the bark. Some fires burn through all the bark in spots, and some fires only burn a little bit.
Water and nutrients are taken up to foliage through the xylem or wood inside the trunk, not through the bark. And food manufactured by leaves is sent down in the phloem between the bark and wood. The thin cell division layer that makes new wood and new bark, called cambium, is also between the bark and wood.
Even if bark is burned off an entire half side of a Sequoia tree, the tree can still send water up through the un-scathed wood and can still send nutrients down healthy phloem on the side with no damage.
If the fire scars are just spotty black marks that did not burn all the way through the bark, all the xylem, phloem and cambium may be in near perfect condition for healthy growth.
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