The Sequoia Index

SequoiaPundit    Current Commentary

Sequoiadendron giganteum  - The Giant Sequoia; from the Federal  Park Service Database

Sequoia sempervirens (Redwoods); from the Federal  Park Service Database

Friends of Sequoias -developing an interest group to promote Sequoia Sciences and Awareness.

Sequoia References - Coming




Sequoia: genus of conifers of the bald cypress family (Taxodiaceae), comprising one species, Sequoia sempervirens (redwood; ). The big tree , or giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum; see ), is sometimes included in this genus. The redwood is native in the fog belt of the Coast Ranges from southern Monterey county, Calif., to southern Oregon, U.S., and the big tree occurs in scattered groves on the westerly slopes of the Sierra Nevada from Placer to Tulare counties in California. Fossil remains of Sequoia as old as the Jurassic period (208 to 144 million years ago) are widely dispersed in the Northern Hemisphere. The bald cypress (Taxodium distichum) and dawn redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides) are closely related to Sequoia. The generic name commemorates the great Cherokee Indian Sequoyah (or Sequoya).

Sequoiadendron giganteum), also called GIANT SEQUOIA, OR SIERRA REDWOOD (as distinct from the redwood of coastal areas, genus Sequoia), coniferous evergreen of the deciduous cypress family (Taxodiaceae), found in scattered groves on the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada Range of California at elevations between 900 and 2,600 m (3,000 and 8,500 feet). The big tree is the largest of all trees in bulk; once reputed as the oldest living thing, the largest stumps examined in tree-ring studies were found to be less than 4,000 years old (bristlecone pines are older).

The big tree is distinguished from the coastal redwood by having uniformly scalelike, or awl-shaped, leaves that lie close against the branches, scaleless winter buds, and cones requiring two seasons to mature. The pyramidal tree shape, reddish brown furrowed bark, and drooping branches are common to both genera. The largest specimen is the General Sherman tree in Sequoia National Park. This tree measures 31 m (101.5 feet) in circumference at its base, is 83 m (272.4 feet) tall, and has a total estimated weight of 6,167 tons. A few specimens are more than 90 m (300 feet) high but have less bulk than the General Sherman tree. Although several groves of big trees were cut, the big tree's lumber is more brittle than that of the redwood; since the lumber is less desirable, it has been easier to save the big trees from destruction. Most of the 70 distinct groves are now under the protection of state or national forests or parks.

[From the Encyclopedia Britannica]

The Giant Sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) is truly a majestic and unique specimen of the plant world. A cousin of the Redwood, many believe it to be the largest living organism on earth. Reaching recorded heights of more than 300 feet and diameters of nearly 30 feet; the Giant Sequoia dwarfs the other trees that share space with it in the mixed conifer forest. The Boole Tree is the largest Giant Sequoia on National Forest land.

Found only in a narrow elevation belt in Central California from Placer County to Tulare County, at elevations between 3,000 and 8,000 feet, the Giant Sequoia lives in about 75 scattered groves, ranging in size from one acre to 400+ acres. The combined size being about 36,000 acres. 90% of the groves are now in public ownership (e.g., USDA Forest Service, U.S. Department of Interior National Park Service, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection; Bureau of Land Management, California State Park System, Bureau of Indian Affairs). The remaining 10% is privately held.

Compared to other trees it shares its environment with, such as white fir, sugar pine, ponderosa pine, California Black oak, incense cedar, Pacific dogwood and several others, the Giant Sequoia lives a very long time. Some current individuals are from 2000 3000 years old, the oldest recorded age being 3200 years. By way of comparison, other tree species in the mixed conifer forest are considered old between 300 600 years of age. Even though it lives longer than other trees, Giant sequoias are subject to the same natural forces that affect other tree species. Disease and insects affect them during all stages of life. The Giant sequoia reproduced primarily by seed. A mature giant sequoia produces an average of 1500 new cones each year, varying in length from 1.75 inches to 3.5 inches long. They are shaped like an egg. Seed size is small like an oat flake. Douglas squirrels and wind are two important dissemination agents of the seed contained in the cones.

[From Sequoia National Forest Desription]

California Wild Heritage Act of 2002 To designate certain public lands as wilderness and certain rivers as wild and scenic rivers in the State of California, to designate Salmon Restoration Areas, to establish the Sacramento River National Conservation Area and Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, and for other purposes. Another important element.