Sequoia


Stock status (June 2024)

General characteristics:

Hardy:Very hardy, though grown in all climate zones.
Soil:Do best in rich ph balanced free draining soils, though they must have hydration !
Growth:A meter a year in good growing conditions.
Height:Both varieties can get up past 100m, and as with most trees, they will put on most growth early in their lives.

Giant redwoods and costal redwoods are iconic trees, not just for their sometimes huge size, but also for their longevity. Some Sequoia’s have been around for several thousand years.

Some Eucalyptus varieties can grow equally as tall as The Giant Redwoods, the distinguishing factor so far as size is concerned with Giant and Coastal Redwoods is their girth. Generally considered to be the thickest is General Sherman at eleven metres in diameter.

By any standards this particular Sequoiadendron giganteum, General Sherman is a very big tree 😮

Sequoia Sequoiadendron giganteum General Sherman

Still like everything, they gotta start somewhere and I’d estimate the one below to be around eighteen metres tall and conservatively thirty years old. So depending on your current age you are going to have a stately tree in your own lifetime 🙂

As can be seen, if stand alone specimen, they have great shape and form with a trunk that tapers noticeably.

Sequoia Sequoiadendron giganteum Europe

I looked for good photos of Redwoods, Sequoia in Ireland, but didn’t find much. There is one just down the road from me here in West Clare, perhaps fifteen metres tall and according to the owner around twenty years old. I’ll try and get a photo at the next opportunity 😉

Sequoiadendron giganteum Bemore Botanical Gardens with people

All the Sequoia in the photos above are Sequoiadendron giganteum, though there are three varieties of Giant Redwood, another being Sequoia sempervirens, the coastal redwood. As the name implies they grow on the coast, natively on the Californian coast. The third is Metasequoia glyptostroboides, common name Dawn Redwood.

Varieties:

  • Sequoiadendron giganteum, grows natively in the high western slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountain range.
  • Sequoia sempervirens, grows natively on the Californian coast.
  • Metasequoia glyptostroboides, considered to be the ancestor of all the redwoods, is an endangered species and grows in a few wet areas in Central China. Not considered a giant, mature trees grow vigorously to around twenty five metres.

The Redwoods are from the specific branch of the genus Cupressaceae known by the Latin name as Sequoioideae. The Cupressaceae are not all huge and comprise around on hundred and thirty subspecies including Junipers. They are considered to be amongst the most ancient of life forms on the planet.

The thick fibrous bark protects the adult trees from being destroyed and killed. This is also a tactic of many Eucalyptus varieties.

Sempervirens Muir Woods California

Most trees and vegetation extract some hydration from moisture in the air depending on the time of day. During the summer Giant Redwoods along the Californian coast can get more than half the hydration they need from the mists that roll in off the cold Pacific air that condense out when reaching the warm land.

Giant Redwoods sempervirens misty

Dawn Redwoods, Metasequoia

Dawn Redwoods are the only deciduous variety, native to a very specific region in China; Lichuan county in Hubei.
Not as tall as the other varieties, it is still and impressive tree that can reach heights of around fifty metres.

Giganteum and Sempervirens don’t tend to have a spreading / branching habit, Metasequoia do and combined with the Autumnal colours; makes them very popular as an ornamental specimen trees.

Metasequoia Autumn