Sequoia sempervirens: importance and use

The world's largest tree, Sequoia sempervirens is a coniferous tree with evergreen leaves reminiscent of yew trees. Because of its rapid growth and fire- and fungus-resistant bark, its wood is widely used.

1718Arbre1820%FR high forest Berné 2 Forest 56
Redwood €18
Age: 0 to 2 years old
Berné 2 Forest
Morbihan, Brittany, France


Known as the California redwood, Séquoia sempervirent, or the Evergreen Sequoia, this tree belongs tothe Taxodiaceae family, of which several fossilised specimens have been found in Europe. Dating about 7 million years old, they prove that the evergreen sequoia, imported from the USA's Pacific Coast in modern times, actually lived in Europe several million years ago. In its natural habitat, the redwood can grow up to one metre in height per year. They are one of the tallest trees in the world and have good quality wood.

Why does EcoTree plant sequoia sempervirens?

Because of their rapid growth and the qualities of their wood, redwoods are trees with great economic and ecological value. They like humid climates and have adapted to certain valleys in Brittany. Their wood is strong, rot-proof, and fire-resistant. In the large forests on the west coast of the United States where it often strikes, redwoods use lightning to their advantage to reproduce. Fire helps disperse the tree's seeds and enriches the soil by adding charred organic matter. These trees also multiply in shoots.
It's worth preserving this tree species which has been overexploited in the states of Oregon and California. These states are abundant with ferns and near-constant, thick mists. These trees need high humidity; capturing some of the water they need through their leaves. It's likely that they themselves contribute to the mist in which they thrive, thanks to the evapotranspiration system of their leaves.

Redwood - Overview

Redwood - Overview

Very large trees, Sequoia sempervirens have a conical trunk and a rounded peak. Mature redwoods have a trunk which is branchless for the first third or even half of its length. The bark is thick and cracked with a beautiful red-orange colour and a soft, fibrous texture.
Their leaves are evergreen, arranged on the secondary branches in two rows of flat, elongated needles that are green on top and white lower down. The leaves on the main branches are layered scales, just like on cypress or juniper trees.
Redwoods grow at an average rate of 80-90 cm per year, going up to one metre in good conditions (their natural habitat). In terms of circumference, the grow, on average, by 5 cm every year.
They are the only conifer known to grow starch-rich bulges on thier root crown (lignotubers). A gigantic lignotuber measuring 14 metres in diameter and weighing more than 500 tonnes has been recorded, sprouting no less than seven trunks!

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Redwood - Species requirements

Redwoods' current natural habitat is a long, narrow strip measuring 75 km wide by 750 km long, between northern California and Oregon. They sit between 0 and 900 metres above sea level, in valleys with rich, deep soil and abundant watering. They can withstand frost and high temperatures, but drought is fatal to them. This is why redwoods can grow in certain valleys in Brittany and western France that are regularly watered by rain.

Redwood usage

The California redwood has excellent quality wood. It is fairly light, aesthetically pleasing, insect resistant, rot-proof, and fire-resistant, as it has no resin channels. In the United States, it was commonly used to make railway sleeper cars, thanks to being resistant to rot. It's used for outdoor furniture, but also for lumber and construction.

Symbolism of the Redwood

The Sierra Nevada Native Americans revered the Giant Sequoia as the pillar around which the world was created. Currently, the tallest tree in the world is a sequoia sempervirens , nicknamed Hyperion, which is more than 115 meters high. It's less than 600 years old, but this type of tree can live 2000 years. The sequoia is a symbol of longevity, power, strength, and energy. Have you ever made a tree gift ? Gift a sequoia to a loved one!