It found that a tree’s growth rate increases with its size, in some cases adding the mass of a small tree every year.
That has huge implications for the amount of carbon dioxide an older tree can absorb.
“One of the analogies I use is if you’re managing a sports team, you’ve got to know who your star players are." says forest ecologist Nathan Stephenson with the USGS, and the study’s lead author.
"This would be the equivalent of discovering that your 90-year-old players are the stars of the team," he says.
If you like to garden and are looking for drought-resistant plants you're not alone. The California Association of Nurseries and Garden Centers says business is brisk as people shop for water-saving plants during another year of drought.
A proposal to build a gun range in El Dorado County has some neighbors in the area of the project concerned about noise, safety and other issues.
The agency that maintains Sacramento's sewer pipeline is urging people to stop flushing so-called flushable wipes down the toilet.
The California Energy Commission says increasing the efficiency of computers and computer monitors can save state consumers millions of dollars a year in energy costs.
As the California drought wears on, it might seem like more creative solutions are in order. But it might not yet be time for drastic measures.