A look at Mendocino's rare Pygmy Forest ecosystem with local botanist Teresa Sholars

Feb 15, 2021

Teresa Sholars standing in the Pigmy Forest (Lana Cohen; KZYX)
Credit Lana Cohen

MENDOCINO, 2/15/21 — Only 2,000 acres of pygmy ecosystem remains on the planet, and all of it lies along the Mendocino and northern Sonoma Coasts. The pygmy forest is made up of grey scraggly trees that look no older than 10 to 15 years are no thicker than the handle of a broomstick, and no taller than the average adult. But the trees in the pygmy forest are not young, some are more than one hundred years old. So why are they so small? 

 Decades ago, rare plants botanist Teresa Sholars moved to the Mendocino Coast and set out to answer that question.