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Sequoiadendron giganteum (Lindl.) J. Buchholz
Giant sequoia, Giant-sequoia, Giant Redwood, Sierra Redwood
Synonym(s): Sequoia gigantea, Sequoia wellingtonia
USDA Symbol: segi2
USDA Native Status: L48 (N)
The giant-sequoia is a massive evergreen tree, maturing to 250 ft. high with a girth of 80 ft. Bluish-green needles are crowded and spirally arranged on the twigs. The fluted trunk and red-brown bark are attractive landscape features, revealed as the tree loses its lower branches. The tree retains a narrow, pyramidal crown of foliage in the upper reaches at maturity. One of the world’s largest trees with fibrous, reddish-brown trunk much enlarged and buttressed at base, fluted into ridges, and conspicuously narrowed or tapered above; narrow, conical crown of short, stout, horizontal branches reaches nearly to base. Giant trees have tall, bare trunk and irregular, open crown.
This rare species ranks among the worlds oldest trees; felled trees show annual rings indicating up to 3200 years of age. Almost all Giant Sequoias are protected in Yosemite, Kings Canyon, and Sequoia national parks, in 4 national forests, and in state parks and forests. It is a popular, large ornamental tree in moist, cool temperate climates along the Pacific Coast and around the world. The lumber is no longer used, although many trees were cut and wasted in the early logging days. Seedlings and saplings are killed by forest fires, but the very thick bark of mature trees offers resistance. Douglas squirrels cut and store quantities of mature cones, and sparrows, finches, and chipmunks destroy many seedlings.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Tree Leaf:
Green Fruit: Size Class:
More than 100 ft.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Green
Bloom Time: Apr
DistributionUSA: CA Native Distribution:
Placer to Tulare Co., CA Native Habitat:
Western Sierra Nevada slopes from 4300-8000 ft.
Growing ConditionsWater Use:
Medium Light Requirement:
Sun CaCO3 Tolerance:
Low Soil Description:
Deep, well-drained soil. Conditions Comments:
Giant sequoia is a fast-growing specimen tree
useful only on very large properties.
Propagate from seed. Germination ranges from 30-40%. Optimum temperatures for germination range from 60-70 degrees. Seed Collection:
Cones remain attached to the tree
for several years, and much of the seed will be retained. As soon as cones are removed from the tree,
they start to open. Fresh cones can be collected in and after August. Store in plastic bag in freezer until ready to use. Seed Treatment:
Seeds require no pretreatment, although 1 month stratification may improve results. Commercially Avail:
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
- Santa Barbara, CA
Record Last Modified: 2011-01-06
Research By: TWC Staff