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Redwood Sequoia sempervirens


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Family: Cupressaceae, Cypress view all from this family

Description Tallest tree on the planet, evergreen, long lived, surviving 1200-1800 years or more. Crown short, conical. Branches horizontal, slightly drooping. Bark reddish-brown, very thick, up to 30 cm. (12 in.), soft, fibrous. Leaves variable, 15–25 mm. (0.59–0.98 in.) long and flat on young trees; scale-like 5–10 mm. (0.20–0.39 in.) long on the upper crown of older trees; a full range of transition between the two extremes. Dark green above, two blue-white stomatal bands below. Leaf arrangement spiral, larger shade leaves twisted at the base to lie in a flat plane for maximum light capture. Cones ovoid, 15–32 mm. (0.59–1.3 in.) long, with 15–25 spirally arranged scales. Cone scales bear 3–7 seeds. Seeds 3–4 mm. (0.12–0.16 in.) long and 0.5 mm. (0.020 in.) broad, with two wings 1 mm. (0.039 in.) wide. Seeds 2 winged. Pollen cones oval, 4–6 mm. (0.16–0.24 in.) long. Species monoecious, with pollen and seed cones on the same plant.

Dimensions Height: 61-99 m. (200-325 ft.)
Diameter: 3-4.6 m. (10-15 ft.) occasionally greater.

Habitat Canyons & valleys, Cities, suburbs & towns, Mountains.

Range Northwest, California.

Discussion Genus name commemorates the Indian name Sequoyah (Sequoia) the inventor of the Cherokee alphabet. Oldest coast redwood is about 2,200 years old; many others in the wild exceed 600 years. Prior to commercial logging and clearing in the 1850's, this massive tree occurred naturally in an estimated 2.1 million acres along much of coastal California and the southwestern corner of coastal Oregon within the United States.