This imposing conifer is densely branched and gracefully pyramidal in youth; with time losing the lower branches to 50-100 ft. from the ground. It retains a relatively narrow, pyramidal crown. Fibrous bark is exquisite, red-brown in color and the needles are dark-green through the seasons. Redwood grows to 300 ft. The world’s tallest tree, with reddish-brown trunk much enlarged and buttressed at base and often with rounded swellings or burls and slightly tapering; crown short, narrow, irregular and open with horizontal or drooping branches.
The world’s tallest tree is a Redwood 368 (112 m) high. The age of these trees at maturity is 400-500 years; the maximum age counted in annual rings is 2200. Circles of trees grow from sprouts around stumps and dead trunks. The genus name commemorates the Indian name Sequoyah (also spelled Sequoia) (1770?-1843), the inventor of the Cherokee alphabet. Existing stands of Redwood occupy only a fraction of the large area in California and Oregon where they originally grew before the arrival of European settlers. Virgin forests remain in several state parks, as well as in the Redwoods National Park and along the Redwoods Highway. But there is still some question concerning the status of the species outside of these parks. The Redwood industry maintains that selective logging, leaving seed trees, and planting in tree farms assure the future of this species. Conservationists feel that every effort should be made to maintain this magnificent tree at its present levels.
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