Sequoia sempervirens (Lamb. ex D. Don) Endl.
Coast Redwood, California Redwood, Redwood
Cupressaceae (Cypress Family)
USDA Symbol: SESE3
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.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Fruit Type: Cone
Size Notes: Up to about 300 feet tall. Sometimes taller.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Sep , Oct , Nov
DistributionUSA: CA , OR
Native Distribution: Pacific Coast region from extreme s.w. OR to c. CA
Native Habitat: Humid environment, protected from direct wind in coastal fog belt, mostly below 2000 ft.
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Moist
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Moist, acid, deep, well-drained soils.
Conditions Comments: The noble redwood should only be used where room to ascend and spread is ample. It grows 3-5 ft. a year when young, and suffers no serious disease or insect problems.
PropagationDescription: Redwood is easily propagated from cuttings, layering, or from sucker shoots, as well as from seeds although seeds have low germinability.
Seed Collection: Cones are ripe in Sept. of the first year. Cones are small. Seeds are mature when the cone color changes from green to greenish-yellow.
Seed Treatment: Seeds require no pretreatment, although 1 month stratification may improve results.
Commercially Avail: yes
Find Seed or Plants
View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara, CA
Web ReferenceWebref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Sequoia sempervirens in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Sequoia sempervirens in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Sequoia sempervirens
MetadataRecord Modified: 2023-03-23
Research By: TWC Staff