Northwest Conifers


Redwood – Sequoia sempervirens Speaker


Redwood at Lady Bird Johnson Grove


USGS Distribution Map

Redwoods are the tallest trees in the world. They grow straight and tall to a height of over 300 feet (90 meters).

Needles: The needles are flat and lie flat on the twig like grand fir. But unlike grand fir, they point forward at an angle. They are dark green on top with white lines underneath. 

Cones: The small, egg-shaped cones look like miniature giant sequoia cones. They are hard and woody with scales that look like lips. 

Bark: The redish-brown bark is thick with deep furrows and has a ragged look. It's quite soft to the touch, especially when wet.

Where it grows: In Oregon, redwoods grow only on the extreme southern coast near Brookings. The northern-most sites are in two groves along the Chetco River. Redwoods extend to the central California coast and typically range to an elevation of 1000 feet (300 meters). 

Uses: The wood is light, strong, and resists decay. Its beauty and color make it a favorite for siding, decking, fencing, and lawn furniture.

Names: Sequoia is named after Sequoyah, a Cherokee Indian who created a writing system for the Cherokee language. Sempervirens means evergreen. Other common names: coast redwood and California redwood.

Tallest: The iconic redwood has a well-deserved reputation for grandeur. The world's tallest tree is a 379 foot (115.5 meters) redwood named Hyperion, discovered in 2006 in Redwood National Park. Redwoods reach maturity at about 500 years. The oldest is over 2200 years old.

Redwood Bark




© 2012 Ken Denniston