Giant sequoia trees are the giants of the plant kingdom, growing to large dimensions, both in height and volume. They are also very long-lived. It is the only living member of its genera.
|Scientific Name||Sequoiadendron giganteum|
|Other Names||Sierra redwood, Wellingtonia, Big Tree, giant redwood, Sierran redwood|
|Identification||Size: 164-279 ft (50-85 m) on average
Needles (Leaves): Spirally arranged on the shoots, awl-shaped, 0.12-0.24 in (3-6 mm) long
Trunk Diameter: 20-26 ft (6-8 m)
Cones: Woody and oval-shaped, 1½-2½ inches (3.8-6.35 cm) in length, brown
Seeds: 0.16-0.20 inches (4-5 mm) in length and 0.039 inches (1 mm) in width, dark brown in color and with a yellowish-brown wing on each side
|Distribution||Western slopes of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California; also cultivated in western and southern Europe, the North American Pacific Northwest up to Southwest British Columbia, Southern US, New Zealand, Southeast Australia and Southern-Central Chile|
|Habitat||Scattered groves in mixed evergreen forests|
|Growing Conditions||Summer Conditions: Summers must be dry with a humid climate
Winter Conditions: Winters must be snowy
Rainfall: 35-55 inches (90-140 cm)
Soil: Alluvial and residual soils with a granitic base
Light: Full to partial sun
|Diseases & Pests||Root and heart rot disease, fungal infections caused by Heterobasidion annosum, Armillaria mellea, Poria incrassate and many others|
|Seedling Development||Germination occurs quickly if the conditions are favorable|
|Wildlife Value||Many birds and animals use this giant sequoia as shelter and a food source|
|Uses||Decay-resistant wood used for plywood, veneer, and lumber; useful as an ornamental tree and sometimes used as a Christmas tree; also used in bonsai|
|IUCN Conservations Status||Endangered|
Giant Sequoia vs. Redwood
Giant sequoias grow on mountain slopes while redwoods thrive in moderate coastal climates.
- The Giant Sequoia National Monument in California consists of all but one of the giant sequoia groves at the Sequoia National Park.
- The Mariposa Grove of the Yosemite National Park is the largest giant sequoia grove in the park with many mature individuals.
- The General Sherman Giant Sequoia tree is the largest giant sequoia by the diameter of its trunk which can be measured at 274.9 feet. It is also the world’s largest tree.