“Redwood timber was in high demand during [World War II] because it not only did not warp but also had insulation properties, soundproofing capabilities and resistance to fire; so Roosevelt and [forester] Nelson Brown experimented with growing redwoods and sequoias on the East Coast….
“Roosevelt wrote Vice President Henry Wallace, ‘As you know, the rainfall in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, or a little south thereof, is the highest in the East and I am going to get the Park Service to try planting them there….’
“The redwoods and sequoias didn’t grow in the Smokies as Roosevelt had hoped….”
— From “Rightful Heritage: Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Land of America” by Douglas Brinkley (2016)
I was surprised to learn — thank you, Bland Simpson — that a lone redwood of mysterious origin now towers over Columbia Street in Chapel Hill.