Giant Sequoia – Sequoiadendron giganteum



A true living fossil, as these trees can live for up to and over 3,000 years of age, and are one of the planet’s longest living organisms.

Also called the ‘Wellingtonia’ or ‘Giant Redwood’, it is a gigantic evergreen tree and is the planet’s largest tree by volume, and is the tallest tree now growing in Britain. This is a massive tree and can have a girth of up to 8m (26ft). It forms a huge tapering bole with a base flare, with red, deep-fluted bark. The leaves are like green twisted cord, and smell of aniseed when crushed. The small yellow male cones are sometimes abundant at the tips of shoots. The female cones are solitary, sometimes paired, and are ovoid up to 8cm long and 5cm in diameter. It can grow up to 80m (262ft) tall.

Planted as an ornamental in parks and large gardens and estates. A native tree of the Sierra Nevada in California and which was discovered in 1852, it was introduced to Britain where it thrives best in the west.

A true living fossil, as these trees can live for up to and over 3,000 years of age, and are one of the planet’s longest living organisms.


Some Giant Sequoia facts


General Sherman: The largest living known Giant Sequoia is in the Sequoia National Park in California, and it is called General Sherman. It is in fact the largest tree by volume, which is 1,486.9 cubic metres (52,477 cubic feet). It is 83.3m (273ft) tall (the tallest is an unnamed tree at 95m (311ft)), and 31.3m (102ft) around its girth at ground level. It is believed to be between 2,300 – 2,700 years old. It has an estimated weight of 6,167 tons. Now that is one big old tree, and the largest known living single stem tree on the planet!

The Waterfall Tree: In Alder Greek Grove, a Giant Sequoia grove located in Giant Sequoia National Monument in California, grows a Giant Sequoia called the Waterfall Tree which holds the world record for the largest base circumference of 47m (154ft) and a diameter of 17m (55ft) of any other Giant Sequoia.