Northwest Conifers


Giant Sequoia  – Sequoiadendron giganteum


Sequoia at Washington Co. Courthouse

The giant sequoia is an extraordinary tree. It is the largest tree in the world and among the tallest and oldest. Although they are not well-suited for city life, they are still widely planted, especially in parks and open places. If they are left to grow, they eventually come to dominate the scene, towering above buildings and other trees. The Washington County Courthouse in Hillsboro, Oregon has several impressive giant sequoias towering over the courthouse building. The two largest giant sequoias in Oregon are located in Forest Grove.

Young trees have a symmetrical conical shape. The twigs often have a swept-up appearance, reminiscent of a feathered hairstyle. 

Where it grows: Western Sierra Nevada of California, all in protected groves, mostly in Giant Sequoia National Monument and in Yosemite, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks..

Uses: Although many giant sequoias were cut down in the late 19th Century, the wood was unsuitable for commercial uses.

Names: Giant sequoia was once put in the same genus as the redwood, but later given the separate genus of Sequoiadendron, meaning "tree of Sequoia." The tree is named after Sequoyah, a Cherikee who created a writing system for the Cherikee language.





Egg size cone

© 2012 Ken Denniston