Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Giant Sequoia, Big Tree
Sequoiadendron giganteum

Family: Cupressaceae (koo-press-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Sequoiadendron (see-kwoy-uh-DEN-dron) (Info)
Species: giganteum (jy-GAN-tee-um) (Info)

4 vendors have this plant for sale.

8 members have or want this plant for trade.

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over 40 ft. (12 m)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

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Bloom Color:
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Bloom Time:
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Other details:
Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From softwood cuttings
From semi-hardwood cuttings
From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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By Ulrich
Thumbnail #1 of Sequoiadendron giganteum by Ulrich

By Ulrich
Thumbnail #2 of Sequoiadendron giganteum by Ulrich

By palmbob
Thumbnail #3 of Sequoiadendron giganteum by palmbob

By jaoakley
Thumbnail #4 of Sequoiadendron giganteum by jaoakley

By jaoakley
Thumbnail #5 of Sequoiadendron giganteum by jaoakley

By Kelli
Thumbnail #6 of Sequoiadendron giganteum by Kelli

By Kelli
Thumbnail #7 of Sequoiadendron giganteum by Kelli

There are a total of 50 photos.
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8 positives
3 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral Sequoiadendron4 On May 22, 2014, Sequoiadendron4 from Lititz, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

The Giant Sequoia is a beautiful and magnificent tree in the west and in the east, it is just as nice. I planted mine in the spring of '10 and it's about 9' tall now and grows about 25-30" a year at my house. It should definitely be watered during times of drought though and if not, it does tend to brown out from the inside out. It does take cold and heavy snow loads well as this was the worst winter it has had to endure in our yard. I have only seen 2 other trees in our area, one in York and one in Lancaster PA and both have such a large trunk. I like this about the trees though that they have a much wider trunk than you'd think for the height. Very beautiful and a nice 'exotic' to have.

I have edited this to add that my Sequoia has been cut down due to Cercospora sequoiae needle blight. Apparently, it is common to the GS in the east. I could have sprayed it but, from what I read, I'd have to do it very frequently during the growing season and likely each year.

Neutral billyvanbakker On Jan 19, 2014, billyvanbakker from Yonkers, NY wrote:

Purchased seed from a seller on ebay. In the winter of 2010 I cold stratified seed in damp paper towel sealed in zip lock bag in crisper for one month. After stratification put seed in cup of water, sprouted easily after about 1 week. Planted in individual peat cells. Grew on my windowsill, planted into individual pots outside in a semi sheltered spot. Most came threw my cold zone 7 NY winter just fine. Gave many away. Planted one in a southern exposure and is now 3', another one was left growing in a plastic pot and although smaller is doing fine. Beautiful addition to my garden, pulls through my winters without a mark!

Positive penth2o On Jun 7, 2011, penth2o from Northern, MI (Zone 6a) wrote:

This giant tree is one of six grown in Northern Michigan.
Pics tell the story.

Positive quercus1954 On Oct 29, 2010, quercus1954 from Hesperia, CA wrote:

Wonderful trees. Retain their lower branches longer then almost any other conifer. Keeps a nice Christmas tree shape. Grows well in the high desert of Southern California, but needs regular water, especially on sandy soils. Beware that this tree has lots of very tiny shallow roots. Discing or tilling around even established trees will injure or kill them. Also note that even a short period of non watering will kill them.

Positive famartin On Jun 10, 2010, famartin from Trenton, NJ wrote:

Visited Sequoia National Park in August 2009. Was impressed with this species so decided to give it a try on my parents property in NJ. Ordered a couple seedlings from Forest Farm and planted them out in early November 2009. They survived the winter with no problem and are now growing vigorously as of early-mid June 2010. Have heard there are fugus issues with this species in the East, so hope they don't come knocking on my parents doorstep.... but time will tell.

Note about the comment below regarding the fire destroyed portion of Sequoia National Park: This species actually propagates via fire, rooting best on mineral soil with all other competition eliminated. Mature specimens also are very resistant to fire via their thick bark. It is actually human suppression of forest fires which are threatening this species survival in the wild.

Positive iam_utopia On Apr 8, 2010, iam_utopia from Beamsville, ON (Zone 7a) wrote:

Lincoln, ON (zone 7a) Grew from seed five years ago. It is now 16" tall and 18" wide. Took cuttings from it and most rooted easily. In early spring, new growth will brown if subjected to the freezing temperatures.

Positive dancingbear27 On Jun 22, 2008, dancingbear27 from Elba, NY (Zone 6a) wrote:

We went to Sequoia NP and let me tell you it was awe-inspiring. It makes you think in terms of dinosaurs and how tiny we would be in perspective. They were beautiful and massive. Then on your way out of the park there was the barren side that had been burnt by a forest fire a few years before and it just broke your heart thinking of those gorgeous trees that had been there for hundreds of years destroyed by someone's carelessness. So I need some seeds to start some trees in good old NY!

Positive peachespickett On Mar 31, 2008, peachespickett from Huntington, AR wrote:

I never spent much time down by Sequoia NP, but lived very near the Placer County Big Trees Grove past Foresthill. These trees are the northernmost grove of Sequoiadendron, and the USFS believes they might have been started by seed from Native Americans, either accidentally or intentionally. The oldest trees are 500-600 years or so, and a few fell over in the heavy snow of the 1861-1862 winter. Even lying on their side and 150 years old they are twice my height. There are only, if I remember, a dozen or so mature trees in this grove but the little headwaters they live in is a fascinating microclimate. If you ever visit Foresthill or French Meadows Reservoir you should stop and take the signed trail around the little grove.

Positive Kelli On Oct 6, 2004, Kelli from L.A. (Canoga Park), CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

These trees are so big, walking up to one is more like going up to building than going up to a tree.

Positive jaoakley On Aug 26, 2004, jaoakley from Toronto, ON (Zone 5b) wrote:

These trees are absolutely MASSIVE. In fact, in terms of stem volume, they're probably the largest trees in the world. Mind you, the specimens I've seen (aside from pictures) are relatively small because the largest specimens are in the western United States, particularly in Sequoia National Park. I've only seen specimens in British Columbia.

I would love to see the largest specimen of this tree, also the largest tree in the world, known as "General Sherman". General Sherman is 274.9 feet high and 36.5 feet wide at the base, with a circumference of 102.6 feet. That means it would take roughly 17 people to wrap arms around this tree, assuming an armspan of 6 feet. The trunk volume has been calculated at roughly 52,500 cubic feet.

When these trees are young, they have a dense conical crown before developing a more irregular and rounded crown as they age. The first photo I've included gives an excellent example of the appearance of these trees when young.

The other photo I've included shows a closeup view of the bark and foilage. (center of photo) Even though the trunk on this tree has a relatively small diameter of 9 feet, it still seemed quite large when I stood next to it.

Neutral knowman On Oct 13, 2003, knowman from Williamstown, KY wrote:

I live in Williamstown (northern Kentucky), U.S., and have acquired a few seeds from grow kits and plan on starting a small forest of them on my property which is about 850 feet elevation. The best elevations for the Giant Seqouia (Seqouiadendron giganteum) are between 700-1000 ft.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Prescott, Arizona
Hesperia, California
Highland, California
Los Altos, California
Sacramento, California
Atlanta, Georgia
Williamstown, Kentucky
Berkley, Michigan
Manistee, Michigan
Neptune, New Jersey
Trenton, New Jersey
Yonkers, New York
Albany, Oregon
Altamont, Oregon
Cheshire, Oregon
Grants Pass, Oregon
Medford, Oregon
Salem, Oregon
Altoona, Pennsylvania
Lititz, Pennsylvania
Media, Pennsylvania
Orem, Utah
Quilcene, Washington
Seattle, Washington
Yakima, Washington
Mc Farland, Wisconsin

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