What are some facts about giant redwood trees in California?


Quick Answer

The sequoia sempervirens is also known as the giant or coastal redwood, and it thrives in the in the humid climate of the Northern California coast. It can grow to heights of almost 400 feet. Giant sequoias are very similar to giant redwoods and grow on the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. While shorter than giant redwoods, giant sequoias typically outweigh their taller cousins.

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Full Answer

Giant redwoods are evergreen monoecious trees capable of living up to 1,800 years. The tallest living organism found on Earth, giant redwoods are also among the oldest living organisms. An estimated 70 percent of old-growth redwood trees have been destroyed by either environmental changes or commercial logging. Giant redwoods have a conical crown, distinctive cinnamon-colored bark and horizontal branches that droop slightly.

Giant redwoods have shallow lateral root systems and produce ovoid seed cones. Very few redwood trees grow close to the ocean due to intense salt spray, wind and sandy soil. Redwoods are among the most valuable timber species in the lumbering industry, and redwood lumber was used extensively in railroad ties and trestles throughout California. As of 2015, the Hyperion tree of Redwood National Park was the tallest known redwood with a height just over 379 feet.

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