Sierra Redwood

Common Name: Giant Sequoia, Bigtree, Sierra-Redwood, Wellingtonia

Large evergreen tree with generally a straight trunk and a rounded crown when mature. Younger specimens are generally pyramidal in shape. The adult foliage is needlelike. The small cones take two years to mature; each scale has two to nine seeds, each two-winged.

The species grows in mixed montane coniferous forests in isolated groves in the western Sierra Nevada Mountains in California. This genus was once widespread across the Northern Hemisphere and dates back at least to the Cretaceous Era if not earlier. The existing populations can be seen as relic ones. The tree is generally more tolerant of drought and cold than its relative, the Coastal redwood.

The Giant Sequoia was probably first seen by Europeans in 1833 but it was not until the 1850's that it became well known. The tree was widely planted in Britain and Ireland under the name Wellingtonia in honour of the Duke of Wellington. The tree grows extremely well in Ireland's mild oceanic climate.

The Giant Sequoia is generally classified as the largest living organism on earth. The general Sherman tree has a height of 83.6 m and a trunk volume of 1473m2. The tallest tree is 93.6m. The Coastal redwood is generally taller but not as massive.

The largest specimens in Woodstock are 40.5m, 40m and 39m in height respectively, measured in 1999.


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