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Sequoia sempervirens - (D.Don.)Endl.

Common Name Coastal Redwood, Redwood, California Redwood, Coast Redwood
Family Taxodiaceae
USDA hardiness 7-10
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Deep well-drained soils on flat land and slopes in the coastal fog belt below 600 metres[71, 229].
Range South-western N. America - Oregon to California.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (4 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Care (info)
Frost Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Sequoia sempervirens Coastal Redwood, Redwood, California Redwood, Coast Redwood

Sequoia sempervirens Coastal Redwood, Redwood, California Redwood, Coast Redwood


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Form: Pyramidal. Can be misspelt as Sequoia semperviriens

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of cone
Sequoia sempervirens is an evergreen Tree growing to 110 m (361ft) by 20 m (65ft) at a fast rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 8 and is frost tender. It is in leaf all year, in flower from February to April, and the seeds ripen in October. The species is monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and is pollinated by Wind.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil. It cannot tolerate atmospheric pollution.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Taxodium sempervirens. Sequoia semperviriens (misspelt)

Plant Habitats

Woodland Garden Canopy;

Edible Uses

None known

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Stimulant  Tonic

A poultice of the heated leaves has been used in the treatment of earaches[257]. The gummy sap has been used as a stimulant and tonic in the treatment of rundown conditions[257].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Basketry  Dye  Insulation  Paper  Soil conditioner  Stuffing  Wood

A brown dye is obtained from the bark[168]. The bark and the wood contain tannin, but in too low a concentration for economic utilization[223]. On a 10% moisture basis, the bark contains 4.4% tannin and the wood 2.5%[223]. The sprouts from the burls have been used in making baskets[257]. The plant develops a thick covering of a soft and fibrous bark (you can punch it hard without hurting your hand). This can be harvested without harm to the tree and used as an insulating or stuffing material[171]. A fine bark dust that is produced whilst doing this is a good soil conditioner[171]. This fibrous bark is also used for making paper. Branches can be harvested at any time of the year from logged trees, the bark is cut into useable pieces and soaked in clear water prior to cooking for 6 or more hours with lye. The fibres are beaten for six hours in a ball mill and the paper is a brown colour[189]. Wood - straight-grained, knot-free, light, soft, not strong, very durable in contact with the soil. A high quality and easily worked lumber, it is used for joinery, fence posts, construction etc[1, 11, 46, 61, 82, 171, 229]. Carbon Farming - Industrial Crop: biomass.

Special Uses

Carbon Farming  Scented Plants

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Industrial Crop: Biomass  Management: Coppice  Minor Global Crop

Landscape Uses:Christmas tree, Firewood, Hedge, Aggressive surface roots possible, Screen, Specimen, Woodland garden. Requires a rich moist soil[1], growing best in deep sheltered valleys in cool humid areas[81, 200]. Dislikes chalky soils according to one report[1] whilst another says that it succeeds on chalk[200]. Tolerates poorly drained sites[200]. Tolerates partial shade for many years when young[200]. Strongly dislikes windy sites, especially if the winds are cold[200]. Plants dislike atmospheric pollution, growing poorly in cities[185]. Plants are fully hardy in Britain, though they may lose their leaves in cold winters. This seems to have no detrimental effect on the tree[188]. The giant redwood is probably the tallest growing tree in the world[11, 81], it thrives in Britain, especially in the cooler moister western half of the country[11]. It is fast growing in cultivation[81], reaching 25 metres tall in 20 years in a good site[200], and can be successfully coppiced even when quite old[11, 81, 200]. It is a long-lived tree in the wild, often living 1000 years and with some specimens 2200 years old recorded[229]. Plants are tender when young[11]. If trees larger than 80cm are planted out, they should be coppiced in order to allow the roots to become established[200]. Male cones shed their pollen in February unless delayed by frost when they might wait until April. Frost just before flowering or at the time of flowering kills the pollen[185]. New growth takes place from May until the end of September and can be very vigorous, 1.2 metres a year is not uncommon and this can be maintained for 30 years or more[185]. The best trees are found in Devon, Wiltshire, Perthshire and Ireland[185]. The crushed foliage has the scent of candle wax[185]. Special Features: Attracts birds, North American native, Inconspicuous flowers or blooms. Carbon Farming - Climate: warm temperate to subtropical, tropical highlands. Humidity: humid. Cultivation: minor global crop. Management: coppice.

Carbon Farming

  • Industrial Crop: Biomass  Three broad categories: bamboos, resprouting woody plants, and giant grasses. uses include: protein, materials (paper, building materials, fibers, biochar etc.), chemicals (biobased chemicals), energy - biofuels
  • Management: Coppice  Cut to the ground repeatedly - resprouting vigorously. Non-destructive management systems maintaining the soil organic carbon.
  • Minor Global Crop  These crops are already grown or traded around the world, but on a smaller scale than the global perennial staple and industrial crops, The annual value of a minor global crop is under $1 billion US. Examples include shea, carob, Brazil nuts and fibers such as ramie and sisal.

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

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Plant Propagation

Seed - sow early spring in a cold frame in light shade. Seed can also be sown as soon as it is ripe in a greenhouse. Germination rates are usually very low[11]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots once they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter, planting them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer. Plants will require some protection from the cold and spring frosts for their first year or two outdoors[78]. If there are sufficient seeds, they can be sown in a lightly shaded outdoor bed in late March[78]. Grow on the plants in the seedbed for two years before planting them out into their permanent positions in late autumn or early spring. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, August/September in a frame. They form roots in winter or early spring[1]. Pot them up into individual pots once the roots are developing nicely and plant them out in the summer if they are growing well. Otherwise grow them on for the next winter in a cold frame and plant them out in early summer.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Native Plant Search

Search over 900 plants ideal for food forests and permaculture gardens. Filter to search native plants to your area. The plants selected are the plants in our book 'Plants For Your Food Forest: 500 Plants for Temperate Food Forests and Permaculture Gardens, as well as plants chosen for our forthcoming related books for Tropical/Hot Wet Climates and Mediterranean/Hot Dry Climates. Native Plant Search

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

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Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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Readers comment

david   Wed Dec 16 2009

young foliage edible and pleasant(Encyclopedia of Edible Plants of North America(Couplan)

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