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Sequoiadendron giganteum

Phonetic Spelling
se-KWOY-a-DEN-dron ji-GAN-te-um
Description

This gigantic specimen can grow 250 to 300' in the wild and is among the most massive trees in the world. Its trunk diameter ranges from 15-20'.  These long-lived trees have a lifespan of 2000 to 3000 years.  They can be found growing on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California.  When planted in the correct climate outside its native habitat, success is possible, but heights may only reach 40-60'.  

When young, trees will have a pyramidal shape.  As they age, they keep the same shape however will lose their lower branches.

They are best located in cool, moist climates with consistent moisture.  Will grow in sandy loam type soil with a consistent temperature range.  It will not tolerate drastic climate changes or clay soil. 

The bark is reddish-brown, spongy, ridged, furrowed, and textured (cork-like).

These unique giants are protected in national parks such as Yosemite, Sequoia and Kings Canyon.

Forest fires are a high risk for seedlings and saplings.  As the tree ages, its rapid growth, fire resistant bark, elevated canopies and self-pruned lower branches place mature trees at a much lower risk for being killed by fire.  

Insects, Diseases and Other Plant Problems:  Dieback, blight and butt rot are minor diseases that may be present.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Hazel Smith'
    Bluish needles, more hardy.
  • 'Pendulum'
    Erratic leading stem (zig-zag)
  • 'Powder Blue'
    Blue foliage
'Hazel Smith', 'Pendulum', 'Powder Blue'
Tags:
#evergreen#large tree#conifer#winter interest#needled evergreen#evergreen tree#dry soil intolerant#clay soil intolerant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Hazel Smith'
    Bluish needles, more hardy.
  • 'Pendulum'
    Erratic leading stem (zig-zag)
  • 'Powder Blue'
    Blue foliage
'Hazel Smith', 'Pendulum', 'Powder Blue'
Tags:
#evergreen#large tree#conifer#winter interest#needled evergreen#evergreen tree#dry soil intolerant#clay soil intolerant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Sequoiadendron
    Species:
    giaganteum
    Family:
    Cupressaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    California, Sierra Nevada Mountains
    Distribution:
    California
    Fire Risk Rating:
    low flammability
    Play Value:
    Textural
    Dimensions:
    Height: 60 ft. 0 in. - 275 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 25 ft. 0 in. - 60 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Needled Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Pyramidal
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    more than 60 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Long-lasting
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    Reddish-brown cones, up to 3" long and 2" wide. Seed cones mature and open in 2 years. They are persistent up to 20 years.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Needled Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Blue
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Needles
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    The bluish-green needles are awl-shaped, triangular in cross-section, and point upwards. They range in size from 1/8-1/2" in length.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Surface/Attachment:
    Furrowed
    Ridges
    Bark Description:
    The bark is a cinnamon-brown in color.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Shade Tree
    Specimen
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Fire