Redwood, Coast Sequoia sempervirens
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Hardiness Zones 7 - 9The Coast Redwood can be expected to grow in the zones shown in color in the arborday.org zone map. View Map
Type of treeEvergreens
Mature HeightThe Coast Redwood grows to be 40' - 300' feet in height.
Mature SpreadThe Coast Redwood has a spread of about 25' - 100' at full maturity.
SunThis redwood does well in full sun, partial shade.
Slightly alkaline to acidic soils of various textures
ShapeThis redwood has pyramidal shape.
Due to the soft wood the Redwood is an excellent tree for cavity nesting birds such as woodpeckers and owls (old growth). Can be used in riparian zones and for reforestation.
Redwood is tolerant of flooding, making best growth along stream banks and flood plains. Irrigation helps maintain a vigorous tree in other sites. Allow plenty of soil space for proper development. The Coast Redwoods of California, are among the tallest trees in the world. They live to be many hundreds of years old; some live to several thousand years. Bark is particularly beautiful, turning a bright orange on older trees. In areas outside California and the Northwest, it is probably best used occasionally as a novelty specimen. It is not suited to the southeastern United States. In the landscape in the East it will grow at a slow to medium rate to a height of 40'-60' with 25'-35' spread while in the West it will grow at a fast rate up to 300'. Plant 15'-20' apart for a screen.
The bark of the Redwood is used by flying squirrels for nest material, cavities in the trees themselves are used by Pacific fishers and northern spotted owls for nesting sites. The northern spotted owl, on the list of federally threatened species since 1990, requires very mature and old growth forests for nesting, roosting, and foraging for its preferred prey, northern flying squirrels. Coastal redwood forests provide critical habitat for this threatened species. Redwood forests also provide food and habitat for other birds including peregrine falcon, bald eagle, marbled murrelet, Vaux's swift, egret, great blue huron, Steller's jay, thrush, brown creeper, winter wren, and Pacific-slope flycatcher and large and small mammals.
Sequoiah was the son of a British merchant and a Cherokee woman and the genus "Sequoia" is named after him. He became a Cherokee chief and established an alphabet for the Cherokee language. Sempervirens comes from Latin and means "always alive". Coast redwood is native to the fog belt along the Pacific Ocean from southern Oregon to northwestern California. It is the California state tree.
Redwood seedlings need irrigation or constant rain to survive, but after they become established can grow with little care. These grow best in areas where it is cool and rainy and the summer is warm and dry.
Redwood leaves are mostly needle-like, they are flat and 1/2 inch long, stiff, sharp pointed and dark green.
Redwood blooms are very small and occur near the end of the shoot.
The Redwood bloom in the spring.
Redwoods produce an egg-shaped cone that is brown and 1" long.
Rate of growth refers to the vertical increase in growth unless specified differently. Rate, as is true for size, is influenced by numerous variables such as soil, drainage, water, fertility, light, exposure, ad infinitum. The designation slow means the plant grows 12” or less per year; medium refers to 13 to 24” of growth per year; and fast to 25” or greater.Manual of Woody Landscape Plants, by Michael Dirr.