Canada has huge redwood trees

California jungle

In particular, the crowns of the temperate rainforests in the Pacific Northwest - i.e. in the US states of California, Oregon and Washington as well as in the Canadian province of British Columbia - are still uncharted ecological territory for the researchers.

Whether it is achieved with a gas balloon, giant cranes or human muscle power: the goal is worth it. Around 80 meters above the earth, in the middle of the low-hanging clouds, much is beyond the field of vision of the person, who is already quite impressed by the mystical, seemingly impenetrable jungle on the ground.

Hidden worlds

Hidden worlds exist in the treetops, invisible to forest hikers deep down on the ground. Because here, at a height of 100 meters, mosses, mushrooms and lichens pile up on the branches to form small miniature landscapes up to 30 centimeters high.

The so-called epiphytes - plants that sit piggyback on the giant trees - are not annoying parasites and therefore do not suck on the sap of their hosts.

On the contrary: not only in the tropical rainforest, but also in the temperate zone in the western United States, the soil under the giant trees is washed out by heavy rainfall and relatively poor in nutrients.

And so, for example, the Oregon maples, famous for their crown flora, not only stretch their roots towards the groundwater, but also tap into the thin layer of earth that has formed after many years from the dead plant parts of the epiphytes - a symbiosis of a special kind, which is probably can only arise in a forest many centuries old.

Animals at dizzying heights

If there are no woodworkers disturbing the ecosystem, then hundreds of species of insects and spiders cavort in the primeval forests of North America, which have found refuges on the overgrown trunks or in dead branches. Flying squirrels and hummingbirds, turkey vultures and common ravens forage for food many floors above the ground.

However, ornithologists rarely come across a nest of a marmelalk: the shy birds now have to fly up to 100 kilometers to serve their offspring with fresh fish from the Pacific - many of the original breeding grounds on the coast have now been destroyed.

The deforestation of the forest is advancing in the northwest of the USA and in the Canadian province of British Columbia, the timber industry is an important branch of the economy.

Above all, the huge redwood trees fell victim to this: more than 95 percent of the former population was destroyed, today you can admire the plant majesties almost only in national parks.