City arborists discover Sacramento is home to rare albino redwood

At an undisclosed location, the extremely rare form of albino redwood stands 82 feet tall. Part of the tree is white and the other part is green. Scientifically known as a periclinal albino chimeric redwood, the tree is only one of twenty known worldwide.

A chimera is an organism consisting of two separate sets of DNA—basically two trees in one, which explains its rarity. Urban Forester Joe Benassini discovered the tree during a routine site check in the summer of 2014, calling in several experts to verify the find and further investigate the rare plant before making the announcement public.

This particular tree has two different types of chloroplasts, ones that make green chlorophyll and others that cannot. The discovery of this tree helps the City better understand redwood longevity and how they are able to adapt to changing environmental conditions.

The City of Sacramento is not disclosing the location of the tree in order to protect the privacy of the tree’s owner.

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