This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V20", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
"Contemplating once a redwood tree in California - three hundred feet high and perhaps forty-five feet in diameter - the question arose, Out of what was this stupendous mass of wood manufactured? It could not have been made out of the earth, for there was no hole in the ground out of which it had been sucked up. It would seem that the living force of the organism must have converted gases and water (itself another form of water) into the solid material before us. Of course we recognize a certain percentage of mineral in the ashes of the wood, but that must be a very inconsiderable"percent, of the tree. May we hear from you on this subject? [Almost the whole of this huge mass is derived from the atmosphere, and is carbon and water. - Ed. G. M].