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How forest forensics could prevent the theft of ancient trees

from Smithsonian

Northern California's redwoods tower majestically above the forest floor, protected and cherished by all. All, that is, except tree poachers, who lurk in the shadows waiting to hack into some of the world's oldest organisms and extract valuable chunks of knotted burl. Theirs is an unlikely prize: A heavy, knotted chunk of rust-red wood, nestled near the base of older trees and reminiscent of a large hornet's nest. In the right hands, these chunks of ancient wood can prove infinitely valuable. more

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