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giant sequoia Sequoiadendron giganteum

Giant sequoia is an enormous conifer of small natural distribution. It occurs in central California, along the west slope of the Sierra Nevada range. In terms of volume, giant sequoia is the world's largest tree.

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Light
Giant sequoia is shade intolerant and requires clearcut or seed-tree methods for successful regeneration.

Water
Well drained but moist soils at elevations of 5,000 to 8,000 feet in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of central California.

Growth

Size
A massive tree with thick heavy limbs, 250 to 300 feet tall, 10 to 15 feet in diameter.

Timber Value
Giant sequoia is used for lumber, veneer, plywood, fence posts, grape stakes, shingles, patio furniture, and pencils.

Wildlife Value
Chickaree, or Douglas squirrel eats the green scales of young cones extensively. Cavity nesting birds often live within giant sequoias.
Attracts chickarees, sapsuckers, flickers, white-headed woodpeckers, nuthatches

Insects and Diseases

Fun Facts
Sequoias are the largest living organisms on earth. Some individuals are estimated to be between 2,000 and 3,000 years old. They are virtually free of any insect pests or diseases. The General Sherman tree is the largest living sequoia (275 feet tall, 32 feet in diameter). A single branch on this tree is over 7 feet in diameter! Sequoia also makes a fine ornamental tree with a dense, narrow, almost perfectly symmetrical conical crown.

Latin Meaning
Sequoiadendron: from sequoia and Greek "dendron" (tree) / giganteum: large

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Landowner Factsheets © 2004 Virginia Tech Forestry Department, all rights reserved. Text, images, and programming by: Dr. Jeff Kirwan, Dr. John R. Seiler, John A. Peterson, Edward C. Jensen, Guy Phillips, or Andrew S. Meeks.