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Overview

Brief Summary

Taxodiaceae -- Redwood family

    David F. Olson, Jr., Douglass F. Roy, and Gerald A. Walters

    Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens), also called coast redwood and  California redwood, is native to the central and northern California  coast, a region of moderate to heavy winter rain and summer fog so vital  to this tree. It is one of three important North American trees of the  family Taxodiaceae. Close relatives are the giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron  giganteum) of the Sierra Nevada in California and the baldcypress (Taxodium  distichum) of the southeastern states.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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David F. Olson Jr.

Source: Silvics of North America

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Redwood is a native, evergreen, long-lived (greater than 2,200 years), monoecious tree [38,40] (monoecious = "having reproductive organs typical of both sexes in a single individual"). Redwoods are among the world's tallest trees; trees over 200 feet (61 m) are common, and many are over 300 feet (91 m) [40]. The largest tree thus far was measured at 364 feet (110.3 m) in height and 20 feet (6.1 m) in d.b.h. ("diameter at breast height") [44]. The root system is composed of deep, widespreading lateral roots with no taproot [40,44]. The bark is up to 12 inches (30 cm) thick and quite fibrous [44]. Redwood self-prunes well in dense stands [40]; the base of the bole is strongly buttressed [38].

Redwood is endemic to the coastal area of northern California and southwestern Oregon. The redwoods occupy a narrow strip of land approximately 450 miles (724 km) in length and 5 to 35 miles (8-56 km) in width. The northern boundary of its range is marked by two groves on the Chetco River in the Siskiyou Mountains within 15 miles (25 km) of the California-Oregon border [22,40]. The southern boundary of redwood's range is marked by a grove in Salmon Creek Canyon in the Santa Lucia Mountains of southern Monterey County, California [40].

Redwood occurs in a maritime Mediterranean climate, where the winters are cool and rainy, and the summers are dry. The mean precipitation is 70 inches (180 cm), with 90 percent falling between October and May. The dry summers are mitigated by a heavy fog belt [30]. The fog reduces the drought stress of this hydrophilic plant by reducing evapotranspiration and adding soil moisture. Redwoods beyond the fog belt appear to be limited to areas of high moisture. Currently there is considerable debate over the link between the fog belt and redwood distribution [11].

  • 11. Borchert, Mark; Segotta, Daniel; Purser, Michael D. 1988. Coast redwood ecological types of southern Monterey County, California. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-107. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. 27 p. [10225]
  • 22. Griffin, James R.; Critchfield, William B. 1972. The distribution of forest trees in California. Res. Pap. PSW-82. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. 118 p. [1041]
  • 30. Lenihan, James M. 1990. Forest ass. of Little Lost Man Creek, Humboldt Co., CA: reference-level in the hierarchical structure of old-growth coastal redwood vegetation. Madrono. 37(2): 69-87. [10673]
  • 38. Munz, Philip A. 1973. A California flora and supplement. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1905 p. [6155]
  • 40. Olson, David F., Jr.; Roy, Douglass F.; Walters, Gerald A. 1990. Sequoia sempervirens (D. Don) Endl. redwood. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics of North America. Volume 1. Conifers. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 541-551. [13414]
  • 44. Preston, Richard J., Jr. 1948. North American trees. Ames, IA: The Iowa State College Press. 371 p. [1913]
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Distribution

Range Description

Western USA: Pacific Coast region from SW Oregon (Curry Co.), to California (Monterey Co.). The most extensive stands are in northern and central California, with outliers as far as 61 km from the coast, but with (near) gaps in the Bay Area and widening again in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The species finally peters out to the south in steep canyon bottoms of the Santa Lucia Mountains.
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National Distribution

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

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Occurrence in North America

     CA  OR  HI

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Redwood is endemic to the coastal area of northern California and
southwestern Oregon.  The redwoods occupy a narrow strip of land
approximately 450 miles (724 km) in length and 5 to 35 miles (8-56 km)
in width.  The northern boundary of its range is marked by two groves on
the Chetco River in the Siskiyou Mountains within 15 miles (25 km) of
the California-Oregon border [22,40].  The southern boundary of
redwood's range is marked by a grove in Salmon Creek Canyon in the Santa
Lucia Mountains of southern Monterey County, California [40].
  • 22.  Griffin, James R.; Critchfield, William B. 1972. The distribution of        forest trees in California. Res. Pap. PSW-82. Berkeley, CA: U.S.        Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and        Range Experiment Station. 118 p.  [1041]
  • 40.  Olson, David F., Jr.; Roy, Douglass F.; Walters, Gerald A. 1990. Sequoia        sempervirens (D. Don) Endl.  redwood. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala,        Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics of North America. Volume 1.        Conifers. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of        Agriculture, Forest Service: 541-551.  [13414]

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Regional Distribution in the Western United States

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This species can be found in the following regions of the western United States (according to the Bureau of Land Management classification of Physiographic Regions of the western United States):

    1  Northern Pacific Border
    3  Southern Pacific Border

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The range of redwood extends southward from two groves on the Chetco  River in the extreme southwest corner of Oregon (lat. 42° 09' N.), to  Salmon Creek Canyon in the Santa Lucia Mountains of southern Monterey  County, CA (lat. 35° 41' N.). This redwood belt is an irregular  coastal strip about 724 km (450 mi) long and generally 8 to 56 km (5 to 35  mi) wide (39). Within this region, redwood trees grow now, or could grow,  on an estimated 647 500 ha (1.6 million acres). Of this area, 260 200 ha  (643,000 acres) comprise the commercial coast redwood forest type (more  than 50 percent redwood stocking). The remainder of the area contains  parks, other forest types containing redwood, and recently logged redwood  type (12). The old-growth redwood, much of which is in State and National  Parks, occupies less than 80 940 ha (200,000 acres) (36). The old-growth  in commercial forests will be harvested within the next few decades. A  major discontinuity splits the type in southern Humboldt County, CA. South  of Sonoma County, CA, redwoods grow in detached and irregular areas to the  southern extremity of the range (38,39).

     
- The native range of redwood.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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David F. Olson Jr.

Source: Silvics of North America

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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Sequoia sempervirens (D. Don) Endl.:
United States (North America)
China (Asia)
Colombia (South America)
Ecuador (South America)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Calif., Oreg.
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Global Range: Pacific slope of the northern half of the Coast Range of California (from Monterey Co. northward), and adjacent southwesternmost Oregon. Generally found within 5-35 miles of the ocean, and apparently dependent on coastal humidity and fog. In the species range there are about 1,900,000 acres of commercial forest land (Fowells, 1965).

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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

Trees to ca. 110 m; trunk to 9 m diam.; crown conic and monopodial when young, narrowed conic in age. Bark reddish brown, to ca. 35 cm thick, fibrous, ridged and furrowed. Branches downward sweeping to slightly ascending. Leaves 1--30 mm, generally with stomates on both surfaces, the free portion to 30 mm, those on leaders, ascending branchlets, and fertile shoots divergent to strongly appressed, short-lanceolate to deltate, those on horizontally spreading to drooping branchlets mostly linear to linear-lanceolate, divergent and in 2 ranks, with 2 prominent, white abaxial stomatal bands. Pollen cones nearly globose to ovoid, 2--5 mm, borne singly on short terminal or axillary stalks. Seed cones 1.3--3.5 cm. Seeds flattened, 3--6 mm, leathery. 2 n = 66.
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Description

More info for the term: tree

Redwood is a native, evergreen, long-lived (greater than 2,200 years),
monoecious tree [38,40].  Redwoods are among the world's tallest trees;
trees over 200 feet (61 m) are common, and many are over 300 feet (91 m)
[40].  The largest tree thus far was measured at 364 feet (110.3 m) in
height and 20 feet (6.1 m) in d.b.h. [44].  The root system is composed
of deep, widespreading lateral roots with no taproot [40,44].  The bark
is up to 12 inches (30 cm) thick and quite fibrous [44].  Redwood
self-prunes well in dense stands [40]; the base of the bole is strongly
buttressed [38].
  • 38.  Munz, Philip A. 1973. A California flora and supplement. Berkeley, CA:        University of California Press. 1905 p.  [6155]
  • 40.  Olson, David F., Jr.; Roy, Douglass F.; Walters, Gerald A. 1990. Sequoia        sempervirens (D. Don) Endl.  redwood. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala,        Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics of North America. Volume 1.        Conifers. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of        Agriculture, Forest Service: 541-551.  [13414]
  • 44.  Preston, Richard J., Jr. 1948. North American trees. Ames, IA: The Iowa        State College Press. 371 p.  [1913]

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Description

Trees to 100(-110) m, suckering from base in native range; trunk buttressed at base, slightly tapered above, to 5 (-8) m d.b.h.; bark reddish brown or cinnamon colored, 15-25 cm thick, fibrous, exfoliating in broad, dark brown plates;

crown narrow; branches slender on young trees, finally stout, borne horizontally or basal ones deflexed. Leaves bright deep green adaxially, ca. 6 mm on main branchlets, 0.8-2 cm on lateral branchlets, midvein raised abaxially. Pollen cones ovoid, 1.5-2 mm; pollen yellow-green. Seed cones very small at pollination, maturing pale reddish brown, ovoid-elliptic or ovoid, 2-3.5 × 1.2-1.5 cm; cone scales shield-shaped, apically grooved, expanded into a rhomboid disc, occasionally with central mucro. Seeds pale brown, elliptic-oblong, ca. 1.5 mm; wing as wide as seed.

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Physical Description

Tree, Very large tree more than 75 m tall, Evergreen, Monoecious, Habit erect, Trees without or rarely having knees, Tree with bark rough or scaly, Young shoots in flat sprays, Buds not resinous, Leaves needle-like, Leaves scale-like, Leaves of two kinds, Leaves alternate, Needle-like leaf margins entire (use magnification), Leaf apex acute, Leaves < 5 cm long, Leaves < 10 cm long, Leaves not blue-green, Leaves white-striped, Scale leaves without raised glands, Needle-like leaves flat, Needle-like leaves not twisted, Needle-like leaf habit erect, Needle-like leaf habit drooping, Needle-like leaves per fascicle mostly 1, Needle-like leaf sheath early deciduous, Needle-like leaf sheath persistent, Twigs glabrous, Twigs not viscid, Twigs without peg-like projections or large fascicles after needles fall, Berry-like cones orange, Woody seed cones < 5 cm long, Bracts of seed cone included, Seeds tan, Seeds brown, Seeds winged, Seeds equally winged, Seed wings narrower than body.
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Stephen C. Meyers

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Diagnostic Description

Synonym

Taxodium sempervirens D. Don in Lambert, Descr. Pinus 2: [24]. 1824; Sequoia gigantea Endlicher (1847), not (Lindley) Decaisne (1854).
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Synonym

Taxodium sempervirens D. Don in Lambert, Descr. Pinus 2: 24. 1824
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
The famous Redwood forests form a very distinctive lowland coastal vegetation type dominated by this tallest of all trees. The altitudinal range is (1-)30-750(-920) m a.s.l. Though pure stands of Sequoia are not uncommon especially at low altitudes on river flats near the coast, mixed stands with both conifers and angiosperms are more the rule. Most common among associated conifers are Pseudotsuga menziesii, Tsuga heterophylla and Abies grandis; most frequent angiosperm trees are Acer macrophyllum and Lithocarpus densiflorus. Especially in hilly terrain of upland sites many other tree species can be present and Sequoia often becomes a lesser component of the forest. The autecology of this species is remarkable for its capacity to resprout after damage at all levels up the tree, but especially from lignotubers forming massive, largely subterranean swellings. Evidence of fire in old growth Redwood forests attests to its adaptation to such disturbances mainly in this manner; many trees have formed several large stems around an old burnt stump. Longevity as evidenced from ring counts of boles exceeds 2000 years, but may on account of this survival strategy be substantially longer. The occurrence of frequent oceanic fog and the interception of this moisture through branchlet disposition, phyllotaxis and leaf shape in the crowns of especially old growth trees are apparently crucial to species survival in this otherwise summer dry region. Its distribution and inner limit of 61 km corresponds with the inner limit of the fog belt.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Habitat characteristics

More info for the term: vine

Redwood occurs in a maritime Mediterranean climate, where the winters
are cool and rainy, and the summers are dry.  The mean precipitation is
70 inches (180 cm), with 90 percent falling between October and May.
The dry summers are mitigated by a heavy fog belt [30].  The fog reduces
the drought stress of this hydrophilic plant by reducing
evapotranspiration and adding soil moisture.  Redwoods beyond the fog
belt appear to be limited to areas of high moisture.  Currently there is
considerable debate over the link between the fog belt and redwood
distribution [11].

Preferred sites for redwood stands are alluvial fans, coastal plains,
and benches along large streams [40].  The size of a redwood can be site
dependent:  a 400-year-old specimen on a hillside had a d.b.h. of 2 feet
(0.6 m), while a 600-year-old specimen on an alluvial fan had a d.b.h.
of 12 feet (3.6 m) [4].

Elevation:  Redwood occurs at elevations ranging from sea level to 3,000
feet (0-915 m), but most stands occur from 100 to 2,320 feet (100-703 m)
[11,40].  Redwoods are sensitive to salt spray [40], and are usually
separated from the coast by intervening grassland [22]

Soils:  Redwood has a strong affinity for deep, moist soils in the
Inceptisol and Ultisol soil orders [40].  The common parent materials
are graywacke sandstones, shales, and conglomerates [30].

Associates:  In addition to those previously listed under Distribution
and Occurrence, overstory associates include Sitka spruce (Picea
sitchensis), Pacific yew (Taxus brevifolia), California torreya (Torreya
californica), Gowen cypress (Cupressus goveniana), bishop pine (Pinus
muricata), Monterey pine (P. radiata), bigleaf maple (Acer macrophyllum),
Oregon white oak (Quercus garryana), and Oregon ash (Fraxinus latifolia)
[40].

Understory associates include vine maple (Acer circenatum), chittam bark
(Rhamnus purshiana), evergreen huckleberry (Vaccinium ovatum), Pacific
rhododendron (Rhododendron macrophyllum), salmon berry (Rubus
spectabilis), and evergreen ceanothus (Ceanothus velutinus) [40].
  • 4.  Arnold, Ron. 1975. Redwood region faces new park controversy. Western        Conservation Journal. 32(4): 12-16.  [8789]
  • 11.  Borchert, Mark; Segotta, Daniel; Purser, Michael D. 1988. Coast redwood        ecological types of southern Monterey County, California. Gen. Tech.        Rep. PSW-107. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest        Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. 27 p.        [10225]
  • 22.  Griffin, James R.; Critchfield, William B. 1972. The distribution of        forest trees in California. Res. Pap. PSW-82. Berkeley, CA: U.S.        Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and        Range Experiment Station. 118 p.  [1041]
  • 30.  Lenihan, James M. 1990. Forest ass. of Little Lost Man Creek, Humboldt        Co., CA: reference-level in the hierarchical structure of old-growth        coastal redwood vegetation. Madrono. 37(2): 69-87.  [10673]
  • 40.  Olson, David F., Jr.; Roy, Douglass F.; Walters, Gerald A. 1990. Sequoia        sempervirens (D. Don) Endl.  redwood. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala,        Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics of North America. Volume 1.        Conifers. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of        Agriculture, Forest Service: 541-551.  [13414]

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Key Plant Community Associations

More info for the terms: codominant, natural, series

Redwood is listed as a dominant or codominant overstory species in the
following publications:

Coast redwood ecological types of southern Monterey County, California [11].
Terrestrial natural communities of California [26].
The redwood forest and associated north coast forests [58].
Forest associations of Little Lost Man Creek, Humboldt County,
  California: Reference-level in the hierarchical structure of
  old-growth coastal redwood vegetation [30].
Preliminary plant associations of the Siskiyou Mountain Province [5].
Tanoak series of the Siskiyou Region of southwest Oregon [6].
  • 5.  Atzet, Thomas; Wheeler, David L. 1984. Preliminary plant associations of        the Siskiyou Mountain Province. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of        Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Region. 278 p.  [9351]
  • 6.  Atzet, Tom; Wheeler, David; Smith, Brad; [and others]
  • 11.  Borchert, Mark; Segotta, Daniel; Purser, Michael D. 1988. Coast redwood        ecological types of southern Monterey County, California. Gen. Tech.        Rep. PSW-107. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest        Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. 27 p.        [10225]
  • 26.  Holland, Robert F. 1986. Preliminary descriptions of the terrestrial        natural communities of California. Sacramento, CA: California Department        of Fish and Game. 156 p.  [12756]
  • 30.  Lenihan, James M. 1990. Forest ass. of Little Lost Man Creek, Humboldt        Co., CA: reference-level in the hierarchical structure of old-growth        coastal redwood vegetation. Madrono. 37(2): 69-87.  [10673]
  • 58.  Zinke, Paul J. 1977. The redwood forest and associated north coast        forests. In: Barbour, Michael G.; Major, Jack, eds. Terrestrial        vegetation of California. New York: John Wiley and Sons: 679-698.        [7212]

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Habitat: Ecosystem

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This species is known to occur in the following ecosystem types (as named by the U.S. Forest Service in their Forest and Range Ecosystem [FRES] Type classification):

   FRES20  Douglas-fir
   FRES27  Redwood

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Habitat: Cover Types

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This species is known to occur in association with the following cover types (as classified by the Society of American Foresters):

   229  Pacific Douglas-fir
   231  Port-Orford-cedar
   232  Redwood
   234  Douglas-fir - tanoak - Pacific madrone

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Habitat: Plant Associations

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This species is known to occur in association with the following plant community types (as classified by Küchler 1964):

   K002  Cedar - hemlock - Douglas-fir forest
   K006  Redwood forest
   K028  Mosaic of K002 and K026
   K029  California mixed evergreen forest

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Soils and Topography

The parent rock material of the redwood region is largely massive marine  sandstone formed in the Tertiary and Upper Mesozoic periods. Considerable  shale and lesser amounts of Mesozoic limestones and Franciscan slates,  cherts, limestones, and sandstones also are present, and schists are  fairly common in some localities.

    High-site soils for redwood consist of Xerochrepts, Haploxerults, and  Haplohumults of the Hugo, Josephine, Melbourne, Empire, Sites, and Larabee  series (orders Inceptisols and Ultisols) and associated alluvial soils.  The high-site residual soils have been derived from either consolidated or  soft sedimentary rocks. In the Coastal Forest Practice Act District of  California, which encompasses the natural range of redwood, the Hugo soil  series predominates. In current soil taxonomic terms, the Hugo series is a  Typic Distrochrept of the order Inceptisols (45,46). It is a member of a  loamy-skeletal, mixed, mesic family, typically pale brown, moderately  acid, gravelly (sandy) clay loam A horizons, and pale brown, strongly acid  gravelly (sandy) clay loam B horizons. Limits of redwood forests sometimes  are determined by soil types. For example, redwood does not grow on soils  having high amounts of magnesium and sodium.

    Fertility of soils under redwood stands has been studied by measuring  the replaceable calcium concentration, expressed in equivalents, present  in a square meter (10.76 ft²) to a depth of 30 cm (12 in). This  measure indicates fertility best because it separates nutritional  properties from other environmental effects. Equivalents ranged from 4 to  more than 80, with 63 appearing to be optimum (49).

    Soil nutrient levels that were observed to change during harvest of  old-growth or second-growth redwood recovered to nearly original values  during regrowth. In the one-meter soil profile, carbon, nitrogen,  phosphorus, and exchangeable potassium and sodium increased in amount,  while calcium decreased (52). Soil organic matter showed a small decline  and recovery after logging (18).

    The lowest amount of soil moisture available during the year has been  related to minimum basal area growth of redwood stands. Basal area is used  as an index of stand development. This minimum available soil moisture,  expressed as a percentage of storage capacity, ranged between 18 and 86,  with 62 correlated with maximum basal area (49).

    The redwood region, generally, is characterized by irregular ridges  oriented northwest to southeast with deep narrow valleys. Consequently,  the principal streams drain to the northwest. Much of the terrain is  rough, steep, and extremely dissected both by major streams and smaller  drainages. Redwoods grow from sea level to about 915 m (3,000 ft)  elevation, but most are found between 30 and 760 m (100 and 2,500 ft). The  best stands have developed on flats and benches along the larger streams,  on moist coastal plains, river deltas, moderate westerly slopes, and  valleys opening toward the sea.

    Although most redwood stands are close to the ocean, redwood does not  tolerate ocean winds, and considerable evidence suggests that it is  sensitive to ocean salts carried inland during storms. Usually redwoods do  not grow on hillsides that face the ocean. The absence of redwood near the  ocean also may be caused by the absence of forest soils of sufficient  depth and fertility to support redwood.

    Redwoods are smaller and give way to other species as altitude, dryness,  and slope increase. In the north, redwoods clothe all exposures and reach  their maximum development as forest trees. In the southern part of the  range, redwoods are restricted to western or northern exposures, and at  the extreme southern extension they are restricted almost entirely to the  bottoms of narrow canyons that cut through steep foothills abutting the  ocean. Trees near the mouths of these canyons often are exposed to onshore  winds and frequently have flat tops with dead limbs on the windward side.  This effect has been attributed to the trees' inability to replace  moisture lost through desiccation by winds.

    On alluvial flats, where redwoods reach their maximum development, soils  have been built up by deposits of sediment from successive floods. In one  area the ground level has been raised 3.4 m (11 ft) in 700 years. In  another, repeated flooding in the past 1,000 years deposited nearly 9.1 m  (30 ft) of silt and gravel around the bases of many large redwood trees.  Deposits from a single flood have been as deep as 76 cm (30 in). Redwoods  adapt to the new ground levels by originating new and higher root systems  (43,51). This flooding generally kills competing species and thereby  allows redwood to maintain nearly pure stands on such plains.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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David F. Olson Jr.

Source: Silvics of North America

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Climate

The mild climate of the redwood forest region can be classed broadly as  super-humid or humid. Mean annual temperatures vary between 10° and  16° C (50° and 60° F). Differences between mean annual  maximum and mean annual minimum temperatures vary from -12° C (10°  F) for coastal points to -1° C (30° F) for the eastern edge of  the redwood type. Temperatures rarely drop below -9° C (15° F)  or rise above 38° C (100° F). The frost-free period varies from  6 to 11 months (34).

    Annual precipitation varies between 640 and 3100 mm (25 and 122 in) and  is mostly winter rain, although snow sometimes covers the highest ridges.  Generally, January is the wettest month and July is the driest. With  substantial precipitation in all months except summer, only slight summer  drought on deep soils, and mild winters, the climate is productive, and  some of the world's grandest forests are indigenous to it (34).

    The frequent summer fogs that blanket the redwood region seem to be more  significant than the amount of precipitation in delineating the redwood  type. The major effect of fog is to decrease water loss from evaporation  and transpiration. An additional effect of condensation and fog drip from  tree crowns is an increased soil moisture supply during the dry summers  (1). The natural range of redwood is limited to areas where heavy summer  fogs from the ocean provide a humid atmosphere, although its successful  growth in plantations or amenity plantings is not as limited. Redwood is  among the most successful trees in the Central Valley of California, and  at low elevations in the Sierra Nevada. It grows well at considerable  distance from the ocean in New Zealand, France, Spain, and elsewhere  (26,27).

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Coastal redwood forests; generally below 300 m, occasionally to 1000m.
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Comments: Coastal forests of northern and central California and southernmost Oregon.

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Habitat & Distribution

Cultivated. Fujian, Guangxi, Jiangsu (Nanjing Shi), Jiangxi, Taiwan, Zhejiang (Hangzhou Shi) [native to W United States].
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Associations

In Great Britain and/or Ireland:
Plant / associate
fruitbody of Buchwaldoboletus lignicola is associated with rotting wood of Sequoia sempervirens
Other: major host/prey

Plant / associate
fruitbody of Calocybe obscurissima is associated with Sequoia sempervirens
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
gregarious or scattered apothecium of Chloroscypha chloromela is saprobic on fallen twig of Sequoia sempervirens
Other: sole host/prey

Plant / associate
fruitbody of Geastrum fimbriatum is associated with Sequoia sempervirens

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Hemimycena lactea is saprobic on dead debris of Sequoia sempervirens

Foodplant / pathogen
fruitbody of Phaeolus schweinitzii infects and damages live root of mature tree of Sequoia sempervirens
Other: minor host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Radulomyces confluens is saprobic on dead, decayed wood of Sequoia sempervirens
Other: unusual host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Sparassis crispa is saprobic on dead root of Sequoia sempervirens
Other: minor host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
convex, pluriloculate stroma of Cytospora coelomycetous anamorph of Valsa abietis is saprobic on dead twig of Sequoia sempervirens

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Vesiculomyces citrinus is saprobic on dead, decayed bark of Sequoia sempervirens
Other: major host/prey

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Associated Forest Cover

Redwood is a principal species in only one forest cover type, Redwood  (Society of American Foresters Type 232) (42), but is found in three other  Pacific Coast types, Pacific Douglas-Fir (Type 229), Port-Orford-Cedar  (Type 231), and Douglas-Fir-Tanoak-Pacific Madrone (Type 234).

    Pure stands of redwood are found only on some of the best sites, usually  the moist river flats and gentle slopes below 305 m (1,000 ft). Although  redwood is a dominant tree throughout its range, generally it is mixed  with other conifers and broad-leaf trees.

    Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) is well distributed  throughout most of the redwood type. Distributions of other conifer  associates are more limited. Significant species on the coastal side of  the redwood type are grand fir (Abies grandis) and western hemlock  (Tsuga heterophylla) north from northern Sonoma County, CA, and  Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) north from the vicinity of  Humboldt Bay, CA.

    Conifers associated less commonly on the coastal side of the redwood  type are Port-Orford-cedar (Chamaecyparis lawsoniana), Pacific yew  (Taxus brevifolia), western redcedar (Thuja plicata), and  California torreya (Torreya californica). Other conifers found  with redwood include Gowen cypress (Cupressus goveniana) and  several species of pine, including bishop pine (Pinus muricata), knobcone  pine (P. attenuata), lodgepole pine (P. contorta), Monterey  pine (P. radiata), and sugar pine (P. lambertiana).

    The two hardwoods most abundant and generally distributed in the redwood  region are tanoak (Lithocarpus densiflorus) and Pacific madrone  (Arbutus menziesii). Other hardwoods found with redwood include  vine maple (Acer circinatum), bigleaf maple (A. macrophyllum),  red alder (Alnus rubra), giant chinkapin (Castanopsis  chrysophylla), Oregon ash (Fraxinus latifolia), Pacific  bayberry (Myrica californica), Oregon white oak (Quercus  garryana), cascara buckthorn (Rhamnus purshiana), willows (Salix  spp.), and California-laurel (Umbellularia californica).

    Of the great variety of lesser vegetation found in association with  redwood, these species are especially common: bracken (Pteridium  aquilinum var. lanuginosum), sword fern (Polystichum  munitum), salal (Gaultheria shallon), blueblossom (Ceanothus  thyrsiflorus), California huckleberry (Vaccinium ovatum), Pacific  rhododendron (Rhododendron macrophyllum), salmonberry (Rubus  spectabilis), coyote-brush (Baccharis pilularis), and  snowbrush (Ceanothus velutinus).

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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David F. Olson Jr.

Source: Silvics of North America

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Diseases and Parasites

Damaging Agents

Fire is the principal damaging agent in both  young-growth and old-growth stands. The above-ground portions of young  stands may be killed outright by a single ground fire, but the stands  sprout and reoccupy the site. Fires are especially damaging to trees less  than 20 years old because their thin bark does not protect them. Also,  more flammable litter lies on the ground, and the microclimate is drier  than under old-growth forest.

    Old-growth redwood stands show evidence of three or more severe fires  each century (23,44). In many instances, fires may only reduce the  thickness of the protective bark, which may be more than 30 cm (12 in)  thick. In other instances, fires cause basal wounds through which heart  rots enter. The combination of recurring fires and advancing decay  produces large basal cavities called "goose pens." In extreme  instances, mature trees may be so weakened mechanically that they fall.

    In its northern range, in and around Redwood National Park, CA, fire has  a moderate ecological role in redwood stands. Light ground fires that do  not open the canopy favor western hemlock regeneration but usually  eliminate older hemlock from the stand. Douglas-fir establishment is  infrequent and unsuccessful under a full overstory canopy, even following  light ground fires on mesic sites. Relatively hot fires appear essential  for the establishment of Douglas-fir trees in discrete age classes.  Redwood, grand fir, and tanoak maintain their status in redwood stands  with and without the influence of fire (47,48).

    Frequency distributions of fires indicate a natural pattern of several  short intervals between fires followed by one or more long interval. This  suggests that prescribed burning to maintain ecosystems should also be  done on a short-short-long interval pattern (23).

    Redwood has no tree-killing diseases other than seedling diseases  previously listed, but heart rots cause extensive cull. Most common heart  rot in the southern part of the range of redwood is a brown cubical rot,  caused by Poria sequoiae. Most significant farther north is a  white ring rot caused by P. albipellucida (5,22).

    A twig branch canker (Coryneum spp.) has been observed  on sprouts and plantation trees of seedling and sapling size. This canker,  which girdles stems and branches, could become damaging in plantations  (5,22).

    Several insects are found on redwood but none cause significant damage.  These include a flatheaded twig borer and girdler (Anthaxia  aeneogaster), two redwood bark beetles (Phloeosinus sequoiae and  P. cristatus), and the sequoia pitch moth (Vespamima sequoiae(21).

    Bark stripping by the American black bear has caused serious damage in  some parts of the redwood region. Wide strips of bark are ripped from the  tree, often from the top to the ground, during April to August. Trees 10  to 30 years old and 15 to 25 cm (6 to 10 in) in diameter are damaged most  and many may be girdled. Woodrats often injure planted trees on cutover  land and occasionally attack sprouts and larger trees.

    In a few instances, redwood is deformed by fasciation, a flattening of  the normally cylindrical stem by formation of a row of linked meristems.  The causes of most fasciations are unknown (40).

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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David F. Olson Jr.

Source: Silvics of North America

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Population Biology

Number of Occurrences

Note: For many non-migratory species, occurrences are roughly equivalent to populations.

Estimated Number of Occurrences: 81 to >300

Comments: Frequent within its geographic range.

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General Ecology

Fire Management Implications

More info for the terms: fuel, fuel moisture, prescribed fire, top-kill

Flame length and fuel consumption were found to be the most important
parameters in determining top-kill and basal sprouting.  These
parameters can be easily controlled by use of different firing patterns
and fuel moisture to achieve the desired effects from a prescribed fire.

A regime of periodic prescribed fire would elevate the probability of
sprout regeneration being top-killed by preventing large fuel
accumulations.

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Season/Severity Classification

May     1989  Low consumption burn
June    1990  Low consumption burn
October 1989  High consumption burn

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Fire Management Considerations

More info for the terms: fire interval, fire regime, fuel, fuel loading, natural, prescribed fire, reburn

A fire regime where prescribed fire substitutes for lightning and
now-absent aboriginal ignitions may have to be implemented to maintain
or reestablish presettlement conditions in old-growth or cutover redwood
forests [15].  McBride and others [34] recommend that both frequency
distributions of fire intervals and an analysis of the pattern of fire
intervals be used as a basis for determining reburn intervals for
prescribed fire.  They evaluated the fire history of redwood forest
stands in Muir Woods National Monument and, because of the highly skewed
frequency distribution observed in this type, suggested that the average
fire interval would be inappropriate to use as a reburn interval.
Instead a combination of shorter than the average and longer than the
average natural fire interval was recommended.  In areas where fire has
been excluded for many decades, a prescribed fire program should start
with two short-interval fires (less than average interval) to reduce
high fuel accumulations.  Once the fuel load has been reduced, a burning
pattern of two short fire intervals followed by a long interval should
be implemented [34].

Person and Hallin [43] reported that regeneration was 5 to 10 times
greater on cuts with moderate to hot slash fires than on those with cool
or no slash fires.  Hallin [23] proposed the following guidelines for
slash fires:

       (1)  burn at night
       (2)  do not burn during the dry season (June thru September)
       (3)  light winds
       (4)  keep the area small (less than 40
acres [16 ha])
       (5)  slash loads pulled away from advance regeneration

If sprouts are to be used as part of stand regeneration, the stumps
should not be debarked or severely burned during slash disposal, as
these actions will result in lowered sprout stocking [10].

Finney [14] has developed equations to estimate the fuel loading of the
forest floor in redwood stands based on forest floor depth.
  • 10.  Boe, Kenneth N. 1975. Natural seedlings and sprouts after regeneration        cuttings in old-growth redwood. PSW-111. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department        of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range        Experiment Station. 17 p.  [9897]
  • 14.  Finney, Mark Arnold. 1991. Ecological effects of prescribed and        simulated fire on the coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens (D. Don)        Endl.). Berkeley, CA: University of California. 179 p. Dissertation.        [15222]
  • 15.  Finney, Mark A.; Martin, Robert E. 1989. Fire history in a Sequoia        sempervirens forest at Salt Point State Park, California. Canadian        Journal of Forest Research. 19: 1451-1457.  [9845]
  • 23.  Hallin, William. 1936. Saving reserve and seed trees from redwood slash        fires. Journal of Forestry. 34: 54-61.  [15233]
  • 34.  Mcbride, Joe R; Jacobs, Diana F.; Cole, Dana W. 1985. Use of fire        history data in planning reburn intervals for controlled burning. In:        Long, James N., ed. Fire management: the challenge of protection and        use: Proceedings of a symposium; 1985 April 17-19; Logan, UT. [Place of        publication unknown]
  • 43.  Person, Hubert L.; Hallin, William. 1942. Natural restocking of redwood        cutover lands. Journal of Forestry. 40(9): 683-688.  [8779]

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Broad-scale Impacts of Plant Response to Fire

More info for the terms: prescribed fire, root crown, top-kill, tree

After crown-kill redwood sprouts new foliage from dormant buds along the
bole.  The bole is covered with fine feathery foliage extending 2 to 3
feet (0.6-0.9 m) out from the bole.  This manifestation is called a
fire-column.  Over time the narrowed crown will again develop into a
typical crown.  During the first 4 postfire years the tree will produce
very few strobili [40].

After top-kill, the number of sprouts per root crown depends on the
severity of the fire.  Severe heat influx to the root crown kills more
of the dormant buds, thus reducing the number of sprouts; however, this
allocates more of the carbohydrate reserves to fewer sprouts, which
results in larger and taller sprouts [14].

In northwestern California, Finney and Martin [14,16] found stump sprouts
were less likely to survive prescribed fire than redwood seedlings.  Large
redwoods survived prescribed fire.  For further information, see Fire Case Studies.
  • 14.  Finney, Mark Arnold. 1991. Ecological effects of prescribed and        simulated fire on the coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens (D. Don)        Endl.). Berkeley, CA: University of California. 179 p. Dissertation.        [15222]
  • 16.  Finney, M. A.; Martin, R. E. 1991. Prescribed underburning and some        initital effects in young-growth coast redwood forests of California.        In: Andrews, Patricia L.; Potts, Donald F., eds. Proceedings, 11th        annual conference on fire and forest meteorology; 1991 April 16-19;        Missoula, MT. SAF Publication 91-04. Bethesda, MD: Society of American        Foresters: 328-334.  [16181]
  • 40.  Olson, David F., Jr.; Roy, Douglass F.; Walters, Gerald A. 1990. Sequoia        sempervirens (D. Don) Endl.  redwood. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala,        Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics of North America. Volume 1.        Conifers. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of        Agriculture, Forest Service: 541-551.  [13414]

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Plant Response to Fire

More info for the terms: root crown, top-kill

After fires that destroy all aboveground portions, both mature and young
redwoods will sprout from the root crown [40]; even seedlings have the
ability to sprout after top-kill [30].  After fires that destroy the
crown, redwoods greater than 8 inches (20 cm) will sprout from numerous
dormant buds along the bole and produce new foliage (see fire case
study) [14,16,40].

Redwood can also reestablish after fire via on-site and off-site seed
[43].
  • 14.  Finney, Mark Arnold. 1991. Ecological effects of prescribed and        simulated fire on the coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens (D. Don)        Endl.). Berkeley, CA: University of California. 179 p. Dissertation.        [15222]
  • 16.  Finney, M. A.; Martin, R. E. 1991. Prescribed underburning and some        initital effects in young-growth coast redwood forests of California.        In: Andrews, Patricia L.; Potts, Donald F., eds. Proceedings, 11th        annual conference on fire and forest meteorology; 1991 April 16-19;        Missoula, MT. SAF Publication 91-04. Bethesda, MD: Society of American        Foresters: 328-334.  [16181]
  • 30.  Lenihan, James M. 1990. Forest ass. of Little Lost Man Creek, Humboldt        Co., CA: reference-level in the hierarchical structure of old-growth        coastal redwood vegetation. Madrono. 37(2): 69-87.  [10673]
  • 40.  Olson, David F., Jr.; Roy, Douglass F.; Walters, Gerald A. 1990. Sequoia        sempervirens (D. Don) Endl.  redwood. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala,        Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics of North America. Volume 1.        Conifers. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of        Agriculture, Forest Service: 541-551.  [13414]
  • 43.  Person, Hubert L.; Hallin, William. 1942. Natural restocking of redwood        cutover lands. Journal of Forestry. 40(9): 683-688.  [8779]

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Broad-scale Impacts of Fire

More info for the term: tree

Young trees originating from stump sprouts have a higher rate of
top-kill after fire than those originating from seedlings (see fire case
study) [16].

Basal wounding provides a vector for heart rot to enter the tree.  Once
this has occurred, recurring fires and basal decay produce large basal
cavities, called goosepens, that weaken the tree [40].
  • 16.  Finney, M. A.; Martin, R. E. 1991. Prescribed underburning and some        initital effects in young-growth coast redwood forests of California.        In: Andrews, Patricia L.; Potts, Donald F., eds. Proceedings, 11th        annual conference on fire and forest meteorology; 1991 April 16-19;        Missoula, MT. SAF Publication 91-04. Bethesda, MD: Society of American        Foresters: 328-334.  [16181]
  • 40.  Olson, David F., Jr.; Roy, Douglass F.; Walters, Gerald A. 1990. Sequoia        sempervirens (D. Don) Endl.  redwood. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala,        Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics of North America. Volume 1.        Conifers. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of        Agriculture, Forest Service: 541-551.  [13414]

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Immediate Effect of Fire

More info for the term: tree

The effect of fire on redwood varies depending on the size of the tree.
The bark of young trees (less than 8 inches [20 cm] d.b.h.) is generally
too thin to protect the cambium from damage, and trees of this size are
usually top-killed by cool to hot fires [16].  The thick bark of mature
redwood insulates the cambium from the heat of the fire [15], and in
many cases, fire may only reduce bark thickness [40].  Under more severe
circumstances, such as stand-replacing fires, basal wounding and
top-kill occurs [40].
  • 15.  Finney, Mark A.; Martin, Robert E. 1989. Fire history in a Sequoia        sempervirens forest at Salt Point State Park, California. Canadian        Journal of Forest Research. 19: 1451-1457.  [9845]
  • 16.  Finney, M. A.; Martin, R. E. 1991. Prescribed underburning and some        initital effects in young-growth coast redwood forests of California.        In: Andrews, Patricia L.; Potts, Donald F., eds. Proceedings, 11th        annual conference on fire and forest meteorology; 1991 April 16-19;        Missoula, MT. SAF Publication 91-04. Bethesda, MD: Society of American        Foresters: 328-334.  [16181]
  • 40.  Olson, David F., Jr.; Roy, Douglass F.; Walters, Gerald A. 1990. Sequoia        sempervirens (D. Don) Endl.  redwood. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala,        Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics of North America. Volume 1.        Conifers. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of        Agriculture, Forest Service: 541-551.  [13414]

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Post-fire Regeneration

More info for the terms: crown residual colonizer, ground residual colonizer, secondary colonizer, tree

   Tree with adventitious-bud root crown/root sucker
   Ground residual colonizer (on-site, initial community)
   Crown residual colonizer (on-site, initial community)
   Secondary colonizer - on-site seed
   Secondary colonizer - off-site seed

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Fire Ecology

More info for the terms: fire interval, root crown

Fire has had an ecological role in the redwood forest type [53].  The
mean fire interval (MFI) prior to human occupation was approximately 135
to 350 years, and after human influx (about 11,000 years ago) decreased
to approximately 17 to 82 years [21].  Redwood has adapted to this fire
regime, and mature redwoods are considered very resilient to fire.  The
thick bark; great height; and ability to sprout from the root crown or
from dormant buds located under the bark of the bole and branches are
adaptations that allow redwood to survive cool to hot fires [16].
  • 16.  Finney, M. A.; Martin, R. E. 1991. Prescribed underburning and some        initital effects in young-growth coast redwood forests of California.        In: Andrews, Patricia L.; Potts, Donald F., eds. Proceedings, 11th        annual conference on fire and forest meteorology; 1991 April 16-19;        Missoula, MT. SAF Publication 91-04. Bethesda, MD: Society of American        Foresters: 328-334.  [16181]
  • 53.  Veirs, Stephen D., Jr. 1980. The influence of fire in coast redwood        forests. In: Stokes, Marvin A.; Dieterich, John H., technical        coordinators. Proceedings of the fire history workshop; 1980 October        20-24; Tucson, AZ. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-81. Fort Collins, CO: U.S.        Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and        Range Experiment Station: 93-95.  [16048]
  • 21.  Greenlee, Jason M.; Langenheim, Jean H. 1990. Historic FIRE REGIMES and        their relation to vegetation patterns in the Monterey Bay area of        California. American Midland Naturalist. 124(2): 239-253.  [15144]

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Successional Status

More info on this topic.

More info for the term: climax

Facultative Seral Species
Obligate Climax Species

Redwood is classified as a shade-tolerant to very shade-tolerant species
due to its high photosynthetic capacity at low light levels [40].
Redwood releases well even at quite an old age.  One specimen after
1,000 years released from 30 to 6 rings per inch (12-2.4 rings/cm) [19].

There is some debate over the classification of redwood as a climax
species.  Some consider redwood a climax species, while others consider
it a fire-dependent seral species [15,41,54,55].  Osburn and Lowell [41]
reported that if fire is excluded from Redwood National Park over the
next 2,000 years redwood will disappear, and Sitka spruce, western
hemlock (Tsuga heterphylla), and western redcedar (Thuja plicata) will
dominate.  Viers [55] on the other hand reported that redwood is a
climax species in the vicinity of Redwood National Park because it
maintains uneven age distributions with or without fire.

After disturbance redwood dominates in early seres due to its ability to
sprout [27,58].

In the floodplain environment redwood deploys what has been called "the
endurer strategy."  After flooding and stem burial, redwood will develop
a new and higher lateral root system from buried buds on the bole of the
tree.  While the repeated flooding and deposition of soil (often to
depths of 30 inches [76 cm]) kills competing vegetation, redwood endures
[3,40,58].
  • 3.  Agee, James K. 1988. Successional dynamics in forest riparian zones. In:        Raedeke, Kenneth J., ed. Streamside management: riparian wildlife and        forestry interactions. Institute of Forest Resources Contribution No.        58. Seattle, WA: University of Washington, College of Forest Resources:        31-43.  [7657]
  • 15.  Finney, Mark A.; Martin, Robert E. 1989. Fire history in a Sequoia        sempervirens forest at Salt Point State Park, California. Canadian        Journal of Forest Research. 19: 1451-1457.  [9845]
  • 19.  Fritz, Emanuel. 1950. Some principles govering the growing of redwood        crops. In: Proceedings, 41st annual conference of the Western Forestry        and Conservation Association; 1950 December 6-8; San Francisco, CA.        Portland, OR: Western Forestry and Conservation Association: 23-25.        [15387]
  • 27.  Huston, Michael; Smith, Thomas. 1987. Plant succession: life history and        competition. American Midland Naturalist. 130(2): 168-198.  [9942]
  • 40.  Olson, David F., Jr.; Roy, Douglass F.; Walters, Gerald A. 1990. Sequoia        sempervirens (D. Don) Endl.  redwood. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala,        Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics of North America. Volume 1.        Conifers. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of        Agriculture, Forest Service: 541-551.  [13414]
  • 41.  Osburn, Verne R.; Lowell, Phillip. 1972. A review of redwood harvesting.        Sacramento, CA: State of California, The Resources Agency, Department of        Conservation, Division of Forestry. 28 p.  [8792]
  • 55.  Veirs, Stephen D., Jr. 1982. Coast redwood forest: stand dynamics,        successional status, and the role of fire. In: Means, Joseph E., ed.        Forest succession and stand development research in the Northwest:        Proceedings of the symposium; 1981 March 26; Corvallis, OR. Corvallis,        OR: Oregon State University, Forest Research Laboratory: 119-141.        [4778]
  • 58.  Zinke, Paul J. 1977. The redwood forest and associated north coast        forests. In: Barbour, Michael G.; Major, Jack, eds. Terrestrial        vegetation of California. New York: John Wiley and Sons: 679-698.        [7212]

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Regeneration Processes

More info for the terms: adventitious, density, formation, layering, root crown, tree

Redwood reproduces both sexually and asexually.  The male and female
strobili are borne separately on different branches.  Redwood begins
producing seeds at 5 to 15 years of age.  Large seed crops occur
frequently, but viability of the seed is low [8].  A dry period during
pollination allows better pollen dispersal and improves seed viability.
The seeds are small and light, averaging 120,000 seeds per pound
(265,000 seeds/kg).  The wings are not effective for wide dispersal
[19], and seeds are dispersed by wind an average of only 200 to 400 feet
(61-122 m) from the parent tree [40].

Redwood seeds do not require pretreatment to germinate.  Germination is
epigeal [40]; the best seedbed is moist mineral soil with some shade
[17,36].  Germination rates are generally low due to low viability
rather than to dormancy.  Germination rates with a mean of 10 percent
are the norm [8].

Seedlings require adequate moisture to survive.  The roots of redwood
seedlings do not have root hairs and are thus inefficient at extracting
soil moisture.  Once established seedlings can obtain remarkable growth
rates in the first season.  Growth of 18 inches (46 cm) is not uncommon.
Older saplings (4 to 10 years old) can grow 6.5 feet (2.0 m) in one
growing season [40].

Redwoods can reproduce asexually by layering or sprouting from the root
crown or stump.  Sprouts from the root crown are generally favored for
tree crops [10]; sprouts originating from the stump are generally not as
vigorous as root-crown sprouts, and are very susceptible to wind throw
[40].  Sprouts originate from dormant or adventitious buds at or under
the surface of the bark [17,40].  The formation of these buds occurs at
a young age, as even seedlings have been observed to sprout after
top-kill [30].  The sprouting capacity of redwood decreases with size
and age [17].  Sprouting appears to be the greatest on the downhill side
of the tree [14].  Within a short period after sprouting each sprout
will develop its own root system, with the dominant sprouts forming a
ring of trees around the parent root crown [40].  The mean crop tree
sprouting potential per root crown is five, which adds many crop trees
to a given site [10].

Sprouts can achieve heights of 7 feet (2.1 m) in a single growing
season.  Shading does not decrease sprout height, but it does reduce the
number and weight of sprouts [14].  Density of sprouts also affects
sprout vigor; the higher the density, the less vigorous the sprouts
[40].
  • 8.  Boe, Kenneth N. 1974. Sequoia sempervirens (D. Don) Endl.   Redwood. In:        Schopmeyer, C. S., ed. Seeds of woody plants in the United States.        Agriculture Handbook No. 450. Washington: U. S. Department of        Agriculture, Forest Service: 764-766.  [7750]
  • 10.  Boe, Kenneth N. 1975. Natural seedlings and sprouts after regeneration        cuttings in old-growth redwood. PSW-111. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department        of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range        Experiment Station. 17 p.  [9897]
  • 14.  Finney, Mark Arnold. 1991. Ecological effects of prescribed and        simulated fire on the coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens (D. Don)        Endl.). Berkeley, CA: University of California. 179 p. Dissertation.        [15222]
  • 17.  Fiske, John N.; DeBell, Dean S. 1989. Silviculture of Pacific coast        forests. In: Burns, Russell M., compiler. The scientific basis for        silvicultural and management decisions in the National Forest System.        Gen. Tech. Rep. WO-55. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture,        Forest Service: 59-78.  [10246]
  • 19.  Fritz, Emanuel. 1950. Some principles govering the growing of redwood        crops. In: Proceedings, 41st annual conference of the Western Forestry        and Conservation Association; 1950 December 6-8; San Francisco, CA.        Portland, OR: Western Forestry and Conservation Association: 23-25.        [15387]
  • 30.  Lenihan, James M. 1990. Forest ass. of Little Lost Man Creek, Humboldt        Co., CA: reference-level in the hierarchical structure of old-growth        coastal redwood vegetation. Madrono. 37(2): 69-87.  [10673]
  • 36.  Metcalf, Woodbridge. 1924. Artificial reproduction of redwood. Journal        of Forestry. 22: 873-893.  [15524]
  • 40.  Olson, David F., Jr.; Roy, Douglass F.; Walters, Gerald A. 1990. Sequoia        sempervirens (D. Don) Endl.  redwood. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala,        Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics of North America. Volume 1.        Conifers. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of        Agriculture, Forest Service: 541-551.  [13414]

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Growth Form (according to Raunkiær Life-form classification)

More info on this topic.

More info for the term: phanerophyte

   Phanerophyte (megaphanerophyte)

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Life Form

More info for the term: tree

Tree

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Site Description

On the Annadel site the plots were located on a northern aspect with a
slopes ranging from 30 to 40 percent.  The elevation of the plots ranged
from 240 to 350 meters (792-1,155 ft).

On the Humboldt site the plots were located on a southern exposure with
slopes ranging from 10 to 40 percent.  The elevation of the plots ranged
from 350 to 450 meters (1,155-1,485 ft).

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Reaction to Competition

The redwood forest is a climax type.  When growing with other species, redwood usually is a dominant tree.  Douglas-fir can keep pace with redwood on many sites and occupy dominant  and codominant crown positions along with redwood. Redwood has been  classed as tolerant or very tolerant, the two highest categories in a  scale of five shade tolerance classes. It is probably most accurately  classed as very tolerant of shade in most situations.

    Redwood stands are dense. At 60 years, redwood may have a basal area of  more than 126 m²/ha (550 ft²/acre) on the best sites (32). Heavy  stocking is desirable because the relatively high tolerance permits land  to support a large number of dominant and codominant trees per unit area.

    Under some conditions, redwood can endure suppression almost  indefinitely. A 25-cm (10-in) suppressed tree might be more than 100 years  old. Small trees may be suppressed for more than 400 years but still  maintain a remarkable capacity to accelerate growth rates when released if  they have not been crowded too closely and are not injured seriously  during logging or slash burning. Large trees also can accelerate growth  when released from competition.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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David F. Olson Jr.

Source: Silvics of North America

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Rooting Habit

Redwoods have no taproots, but lateral roots are  large and wide-spreading. Small trees have better-than-average  windfirmness, and large redwoods are windfirm under most conditions.

    A study in extreme northwestern California indicated that a combination  of wet soil and strong winds is necessary for significant windfall damage.  Consequently, windfall is caused by only a few of the many winter storms.  Storms that cause windfall come mainly from the south. Uprooting accounted  for 80 percent of the redwood windfall in this study (7).

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

David F. Olson Jr.

Source: Silvics of North America

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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Phenology

More info on this topic.

Redwood female strobili become receptive and pollen is shed from late
November to early March.  Female strobili start ripening in September of
the first year.  Mature female strobili can be identified when their
color changes from green to greenish yellow.  Seed dispersal begins in
late October, with most of the seeds being dispersed from November to
February [8].
  • 8.  Boe, Kenneth N. 1974. Sequoia sempervirens (D. Don) Endl.   Redwood. In:        Schopmeyer, C. S., ed. Seeds of woody plants in the United States.        Agriculture Handbook No. 450. Washington: U. S. Department of        Agriculture, Forest Service: 764-766.  [7750]

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Reproduction

Vegetative Reproduction

Redwood can be propagated by cuttings,  but few large-scale attempts of this kind have been reported. In an early  study in California, 40 percent of the cuttings from the tops of  fast-growing seedlings that had been pushed into forest nursery soil with  no special treatment developed root systems (38,39). Currently, rooting in  excess of 90 percent is obtained routinely, with mist in a favorable  medium, using juvenile cuttings from seedlings (27). Cuttings from older  trees are more difficult to root.

    Studies in the past 10 years have improved the cutting procedure by  hedging-a technique that seems to maintain the juvenility of the donor  tree. A single seedling and its clonal descendants can produce about 1  million cuttings in 3 years by repeated hedging of seedlings and their  descendants (29).

    Modern methods of plant tissue culture also have propagated redwood  successfully (3). Tissues from outstanding mature trees may be cultured in  nutrient medium, becoming undifferentiated masses of cells or callus. In  different nutrient media, fragments of the callus can be induced to  differentiate into small plants. When these plants become large enough,  juvenile cuttings can be taken from them (30). In France, scientists have  found that shoots of redwood 10 to 20 mm (0.4 to 0.8 in) long are the best  reactive material for producing explants, with fragments of the annual  shoots being more reactive than the annual sprouts of 2-year-old shoots  (13). Tissue cultured plantlets are generally twice the size of seedlings  of the same age (2).

    Redwood can sprout from stumps and root crowns anytime of the year.  Numerous and vigorous sprouts originate from both dormant and adventitious  buds within 2 to 3 weeks after logging. Sprouting capacity is related to  variables associated with tree size or age. Stumps of small young trees  sprout more readily than those of large old trees (35). Stumps often are  circled by more than 100 sprouts. Many sprouts may be necessary to sustain  a healthy stump-root system (4,15). Powers and Wiant (37) found that  sprout vigor was related to sprout density. Sprout vigor was reduced at  densities less than one sprout per 2 feet of stump circumference. Each  sprout soon develops its own root system, and in a remarkably short time  the dominant sprouts create circles of new trees around the old stumps.

    Depending on the intensity of thinning or partial cutting in redwood,  sprouts grow and develop successfully in openings (11,31). A recent study  showed that more than 90 percent of all redwood stumps sprouted in a  40-year-old redwood stand thinned to 25, 50, and 75 percent of the initial  basal area. Consequently, all thinned stands contained several hundred  redwood sprout clumps per acre, and several thousand individual sprouts.  The heavier the thinning, the more sprouts developed into vigorous young  crop trees (31).

    Sprouting by redwood is principally from root crowns, but sprouts  sometimes grow from the sides and tops of stumps. These high sprouts are  less desirable because they are mechanically weak and not as vigorous as  root-crown sprouts. Sprouts originating from the sides and top of stumps  often are destroyed by strong wind.

    Sprouts are commonly about 60 to 90 cm (24 to 36 in) tall at the end of  the first year but may be more than 1.8 m (6 ft) tall. In one instance, a  fire killed all sprouts around a stump. About 300 new sprouts appeared  within a few days, and at the end of one growing season many reached 2.1 m  (7 ft). Sprouts grow more rapidly than seedlings and the initial impetus  lasts many years. However, the best phenotypes at age 40 to 80 in stands  originating from both sprouts and seedlings often are found to be of  seedling origin (27).

    Early estimates of stocking from root crown sprouts varied from 20 to 35  percent of full stocking. A later study showed that redwood sprouts on old  growth cutover redwood land in Mendocino and Humboldt Counties, CA,  provided only 8 percent of full stocking. This finding is low compared to  more recent stand examinations where the majority of redwood stems in 163  moderately to fully stocked young growth stands originated from sprouts  (33).

    Redwood can also sprout along almost the entire length of its trunk. If  the crown of a tree is destroyed by fire or mechanically damaged, or the  stem is suddenly exposed to light, numerous dormant buds along the trunk  are stimulated and produce new foliage. Most of the trunk is then covered  by feathery foliage extending 0.6 to 0.9 m (2 to 3 ft) from the trunk.  Eventually, normal crowns develop again.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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David F. Olson Jr.

Source: Silvics of North America

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Seedling Development

Redwood seeds, generally, are ready to  germinate soon after they fall to the ground if seedbeds are moist and the  weather is warm enough. Redwood seeds do not require pretreatment to  germinate, but germination speed is increased by an overnight soak in  aerated water (27). Mineral soil is the best seedbed, but seeds will  germinate readily in duff, on logs, in debris, or under other vegetation,  and in either shade or full sunlight if adequate soil moisture is  available. Redwood seed germination is epigeal.

    New redwood seedlings require a greater supply of soil moisture for  survival than that needed by seedlings of most associated trees (19). Late  spring and early fall rains can be critical survival factors. Apparently,  redwoods have no root hairs. Consequently, redwood roots do not seem to  function efficiently in extracting soil moisture. This fact may limit  natural distribution to sites where favorable water relations result from  high rainfall, humid air, moist soil, or low summer temperatures, or from  various combinations of these conditions. Redwood seedlings on fully  exposed soil can withstand considerable surface heat if their roots have  reached a permanent moisture supply. Otherwise, they die before soil  surface temperatures reach 60° C (140° F). Redwood seedlings are  extremely vulnerable to infection by damping-off and Botrytis fungi during  their first year (22).

    In its early stages, redwood grows rapidly in height. Seedlings often  grow about 46 cm (18 in) in the first season and trees 4 to 10 years old  sometimes grow 0.6 to 2.0 m (2 to 6.5 ft) in a year. In many instances,  however, rapid height growth of trees that originate from seed does not  commence until the trees are more than 10 years old.

    Juvenile growth of redwood is best in full sunlight. Although redwood  seedlings can endure heavy shade, growth there is slow. Photosynthetic  capacity in redwood is remarkably high at low light intensities and keeps  increasing as light intensity increases, much like more intolerant  species. Redwood grew vigorously in much weaker light than 12 other tree  species studied (38,39). For example, it increased its size 8.8 times in  10 percent of full sunlight in a 9-month period, more than twice the  growth of any of the other species in the test. For appreciable growth,  Engelmann spruce (Picea engelmannii) and Douglas-fir require twice  as much light as redwood. Pine requires three to four times as much.

    Radial growth of redwood in Mendocino County, CA, at points 6, 14, and  32 km (4, 9, and 20 mi) from the coast did not vary markedly in growth  pattern. Radial growth began after mid-March, increased to a maximum in  late May, and then declined at a fairly uniform rate to a minimum at the  end of September. Radial growth was negligible from October 1 to March 15.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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David F. Olson Jr.

Source: Silvics of North America

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Seed Production and Dissemination

Redwoods start to bear seeds  when 5 to 15 years old (8). One study showed that seed viability increased  with the age of parent trees (38,39). Maximum seed viability was reached  when trees were more than 250 years old. Seeds produced by trees younger  than 20 years generally were less than 1 percent viable, and seeds from  trees more than 1,200 years old were not more than 3 percent viable.  Redwoods produce abundant seeds almost every year. Even trees in the  intermediate crown class often produce seed crops. Fair to abundant crops  were produced in 5 consecutive years in north coastal California (8).  Cones often are rare, however, or nonexistent on large areas for many  years in stands in Mendocino County, CA (central part of the range). Large  mature stands on Maui, HI, have few or no cones or pollen (27).

    Trees with new, narrow crowns resulting from sprouting of dormant buds  after fire has killed the crown produce few cones during the first 4 years  after the fire. About one-half such narrow-crowned trees, locally called  fire-columns, bear cones in the fifth year, and almost all produce cones  by the seventh or eighth year.

    The germination rate of redwood seeds is usually low. Poor germination  often results from a low percentage of sound seeds (less than 15 percent)  rather than from dormancy. When obviously defective seeds are removed,  germination rarely is below 80 percent, and is sometimes 100 percent (27).  Identification of defective seeds often is difficult, however, because  many seeds appearing sound are filled with tannin. In one seed study,  soundness varied significantly with seed size. Seeds passing 12, 10, and 8  mesh screens were 2, 8, and 15 percent sound, respectively. Seeds from  seven populations were photographed by X-ray. The distribution in  categories was as follows: seeds empty or tannin filled, 58 to 97 percent;  seeds from embryos damaged by fungi, 0 to 11 percent; and sound seeds, 1  to 32 percent (38,39).

    Although only scant evidence is recorded on storage of redwood seeds,  they do not seem to store well. One seed lot was stored successfully for 3  years but lost its viability completely after 5 years (19).

    Redwood cones dry readily under conditions of low humidity and quickly  release their seeds with slight shaking. But because weather conditions at  cone ripening in nature usually are unfavorable for rapid drying, seed  dispersal may be spread over periods that vary considerably in length.  Rains, however, may hasten seed dissemination. One observer found in many  instances that redwood seeds remained in the open cones until a drenching  rain dissolved the tannic crystals in the cones (38,39). Seed  dissemination during the winter months seems characteristic of redwood in  the northern stands. More than four-fifths of the sound seeds in one study  were shed during December and January.

    Redwood seeds are small and light, number about 265,000/kg (120,000/lb),  but lack efficient wings to slow them in falling (10). They fall at rates  between 1.5 and 6.2 m/s (4.9 and 20.5 ft/s), averaging 2.6 m/s (8.6 ft/s).  These rates are faster than for most other wind-disseminated forest seeds  and limit seed dispersal considerably.

    Timbered edges of clearcut units have effective seeding distances of  only 61 m (200 ft) uphill and 122 m (400 ft) downhill under average  redwood stand conditions. A recent study in Del Norte County, CA, showed  that the largest clearcut units should not be more than 12 to 16 ha (30 to  40 acres) if regeneration will be completed by natural seeding (38,39). No  silvicultural reasons exist for restricting the size of clearcuts, if  areas are regenerated by artificial methods. Maximum size of clearcuttings  is specified in Forest Practice Rules, based on erosion hazard, or other  criteria.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Flowering and Fruiting

Redwood is monoecious; inconspicuous  male and female flowers are borne separately on different branches of the  same tree. The ovulate conelets grow into broadly oblong cones (10).  Redwood female strobili become receptive and pollen sheds between late  November and early March, although flowering usually is over by the end of  January. Weather conditions during pollination may directly affect seed  quality. Continuous rains during flowering wash pollen from the male  strobili and little pollen may reach the receptive female strobili. Dry  periods during pollination permit better pollen dispersal and improve seed  viability.

    Redwood cones are terminal and are 13 to 29 mm (0.5 to 1.1 in) long.  They mature in autumn of the first year after flowering and are open from  early September until late December. Although cones persist for several  months, they open and shed seeds soon after ripening.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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David F. Olson Jr.

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Growth

Growth and Yield

Redwood is long lived, grows taller than any  other tree species in the world, and is exceeded in bulk only by the giant  sequoia. Redwoods are sexually mature at 10 years or less but continue to  increase in volume for centuries. The oldest redwood found so far,  determined by growth ring counts, is nearly 2,200 years old. Old-growth  redwood forests sometimes are incorrectly called even-aged and overmature  when, in fact, few forests in the world can match many redwood stands in  range of ages and mixture of vigorously growing and decadent trees.

    Redwood probably is best known for its great size, although the average  redwood is smaller than commonly believed. Trees larger than 30 cm (12 in)  in d.b.h. on a 12-ha (30-acre) old-growth tract in Humboldt County, CA,  fell approximately into these divisions: 30 to 77 cm (12 to 30 in) in  d.b.h., 50 percent; 78 to 153 cm (31 to 60 in), 32 percent; 155 cm (61 in)  and larger, 18 percent. Redwoods 366 to 488 cm. (144 to 192 in) in d.b.h.,  found scattered over the entire range, are considered large. Trees 610 cm  (240 in) or more in diameter at a point 1.5 m (5 ft) above the ground are  rare.

    Redwoods more than 61 m (200 ft) tall are common, and many trees growing  on riverside benches, where soils are deep and moist, are taller than 91 m  (300 ft). The tallest measured redwood was 112.1 m (367.8 ft) in 1964  (50).

    Large trees and dense stocking combine to produce high yields. More than  81 percent of the commercial redwood forest land is classified as highly  productive, and only 2 percent is poor for growing trees. Flats along  rivers have yielded approximately 10,500 to 14,000 m³/ha (about  750,000 to 1,000,000 fbm/acre) in scaled logs. Harvest cuttings in Del  Norte County, CA, on units of 5.3 ha (13 acres) and larger, produced gross  volumes ranging from 1330 to 3921 m³/ha (95,000 to 280,000 fbm/acre,  Scribner).

    Biomass accumulates to record levels. A redwood stand in Humboldt State  Park in California provides the greatest biomass ever recorded, with a  stem biomass of 3461 t/ha (1,544 tons/acre) (20).

    Economical conversion of old-growth redwood to young managed stands by  shelterwood or selection cutting is difficult because net growth is  negative during the decade after logging. Windthrow, slow growth of  residual trees, and damage to established reproduction when residual trees  are removed contribute to economic losses. Considering effect on growth,  small clearcuttings seem to be a good method for converting old-growth  redwood to young managed stands (9).

    Young-growth redwood is often nearly as spectacular in size and yield as  old growth. Dominant young-growth trees on good sites are 30.5 to 45.7 m  (100 to 150 ft) tall at 50 years, and 50.3 to 67.1 m (165 to 220 ft) at  100 years. Height growth is most rapid up to the 35th year. On the best  sites, however, height growth continues to be rapid well past 100 years  (24,33).

    Diameter growth of individual young trees can be rapid or extremely  slow. In dense stands where competition is severe, annual diameter  increment is commonly less than 1 mm (0.03 in). Occasionally, 40 or more  rings per centimeter (more than 100/in) can be counted. At the other  extreme, diameter growth sometimes exceeds 2.5 cm (1 in) a year. One  redwood growing with little competition was 213 cm (84 in) in d.b.h. when  108 years old.

    The yield of young-growth redwood stands at 100 years is expected to  range from 742 m³/ha (10,600 ft³/acre) on low sites to 3576 m³/ha  (51,080 ft³/acre) on high sites (32). The same stands yield 781 to  4998 m³/ha (55,760 to 357,000 fbm/acre International quarter-inch  rule), and yields of more than 2800 m³/ha (about 200,000 fbm/acre  International quarter-inch rule) are common in young-growth redwood  stands. At earlier ages, however, the greatest yields are in stands that  contain a mixture of redwood and Douglas-fir (25).

    Natural pruning in young redwood stands often is not good. Although live  crowns may be limited to the upper third of the trunk, dead limbs are  persistent. Branch stubs, although decayed, may remain more than 50 years.  In old trees, some branch stubs have affected the quality of the timber  over a 200-year period. Trees in the intermediate crown class, however,  often prune well naturally, and some trees in a heavily stocked stand have  clean trunks for 23 to 30 m (75 to 100 ft) at 85 years.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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David F. Olson Jr.

Source: Silvics of North America

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Genetics

Sequoia is unique within Coniferales, being of a hexaploid  nature (41). It was thought that redwood originated as an allopolyploid  from hybrids between early Tertiary or Mesozoic species of Metasequoia  and some extinct Taxodiaceous plant such as the modern giant sequoia.  However, the types and numbers of marker chromosomes found in Metasequoia  and Taxodium distichum are different than those present in  Sequoia, making it unlikely that these species contributed to the  polyploidy of Sequoia. Comparisons between the marker chromosomes  in Sequoia and those in Sequoiadendron indicate that  genomic contribution by Sequoiadendron to Sequoia is not  probable (41).

    Races of redwood are not known, but the following cultivars (cultivated  varieties) have been recognized (16):

    cv. 'Adpressa'  Tips of shoots creamy white. Awl-like leaves. 
cv. 'Glauca'  Leaves 6 mm (0.25 in) long, glaucous, bluish. 
cv. 'Nana Pendula'  Leaves glaucous, branches pendulous. 
cv. 'Pendula'  Branches pendulous. 
cv. 'Prostrata'  Prostrate at first; leaves green, glaucous  beneath.

    Four varieties of redwood now available in nurseries show a range of  growth habits, texture, color, and form. They are named Aptos Blue, Los  Altos, Soquel, and Santa Cruz (6).

    An uncommon form of redwood, the albino redwood, has been described in a  few locations within the redwood region (17). These albinos result from a  genetic disorder and exist by attachment to a normal green tree, generally  at the roots. The tallest albino observed was 19.8 m (65 ft) tall.  Albinism is often a useful trait in genetics research to determine  mutation rate, and for other purposes.

    Preliminary results from studies of self and related outcross families  indicate that, compared with outcrosses, selfing produced no additional  cone abortion or variable effects on germination. Under stress conditions  in nurseries and outplantings, some inbreeding depression becomes evident,  and restricting inbreeding in redwood seed-orchards seems prudent (30).

    The tissue culture techniques described earlier also allow genetic  manipulation of redwood at the cellular level. Possibilities being  explored include the production of di-haploid redwood from female  gametophyte cultures (2).

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Sequoia sempervirens

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Sequoia sempervirens

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 3
Specimens with Barcodes: 4
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
EN
Endangered

Red List Criteria
A2acd

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2013

Assessor/s
Farjon, A. & Schmid, R.

Reviewer/s
Stritch, L. & Thomas, P.

Contributor/s

Justification

According to forestry estimates in Burns and Honkala (1990) there remained by the end of the twentieth century a total of 260,200 ha of commercial forest with “more than 50% redwood stocking”, while a further 80,940 ha was ‘old-growth redwood’ mostly within protected areas. If the latter forests were also 50% redwood, this would translate in a minimal area of occupancy (AOO) of 1,400 km², to which would have to be added an unknown figure for redwoods occurring as a minor component. The AOO is thus likely to fall below 2,000 km², the threshold for Vulnerable.

Past decline is, as always, difficult to estimate as there were no accurate estimates of an AOO when logging operations began. It is almost certainly in excess of 50% over three generations, which in the case of this very long-lived species takes us back to the period before Europeans and their impact on the forest arrived in northern California.

Continuing decline is inferred from the fact that the proportion of redwood in commercially exploited forests containing this species is still declining, due to deliberate or accidental replacement by more competitive species in the early phases of succession after clear-felling, especially Pseudotsuga menziesii. Under the A2 criterion this species should therefore be listed as Endangered.


History
  • 2006
    Vulnerable
  • 1998
    Lower Risk/conservation dependent
    (Oldfield et al. 1998)
  • 1997
    Rare
    (Walter and Gillett 1998)
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National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N4 - Apparently Secure

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G4 - Apparently Secure

Reasons: Abundant, even dominant, in a substantial but not large geographic range (Pacific coast of northern and central California, and adjacent southwestern Oregon). Mature trees in areas not protected as conservation lands subject to substantial demand for timber.

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Population

Population
The population is still very large, but decreasing due to forestry management and practices that have a tendency to alter the composition of forests at the disadvantage of redwoods.

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Global Short Term Trend: Decline of 10-30%

Comments: Mature redwood forests have mostly been cut for timber, and many of the better remaining stands now protected in parks and preserves. Substantial cutting of redwood, including second-growth, continues. Thus, mature trees are far scarcer than 150 years ago, but young trees are still quite numerous, and found nearly throughout the historical range of the species.

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Threats

Major Threats
The conservation issues involving Sequoia sempervirens pertain largely to the necessary preservation of the remaining 'old growth' Redwood forest for ecological reasons and involve much less questions about survival in the wild of the species. The "redwood belt" as given on published maps of distribution comprises forest with a (co)dominance of S. sempervirens, forest with the species as a minor constituent, as well as 'potential' sites, i.e. where the species has grown historically but has been removed by logging and replaced by other tree species or a different type of land use from forest. 'Old growth' Redwood forest has been greatly reduced since Europeans arrived and covers currently ca. 80,000 ha, but almost all of this is now in protected areas. Its easy regeneration both from seeds and resprouting from stumps indicate the resilience of this tree against (man-made) disturbances. On the other hand, its late successional to climax dominance coupled with shade tolerance means it is easily replaced by more light demanding conifers such as Pseudotsuga menziesii (Douglas Fir). This can be made 'permanent' if forests are chosen to be so managed, as indeed they tend to be in commercial forestry operations. This means, that outside protected areas S. sempervirens is often replaced after logging by Pseudotsuga menziesii (and to a lesser extent by Abies grandis and Tsuga heterophylla), or that its proportion in the forest composition is reduced. This occurs especially in the absence of fire after logging. Selective logging of redwood has similar effects, especially in more southern subpopulations. A second cause of decline of area of occupancy for redwoods is urbanization, at present a relatively minor factor, but predicted to increase much in the next few decades (Noss 2000). We therefore infer that there is a continuing decline in the population.
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Comments: Demand for timber remains strong, with the wood having unique properties that make substitution difficult.

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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
It is imperative to place all remaining ‘old growth’ forest in which this species is a component under strict protection; the greater portion of these forests is already so protected. Logging the species should be under stricter regulation allowing regeneration to maturity of this species on all sites where it occurs in commercially exploited forests. This may require subsidies to landowners. This species is present in many protected areas, including a national park dedicated to the species. However, an estimated 82.5% of all redwood forest was in private/tribal ownership in 2000 (Noss 2000) and protected areas do not cover the entire genotype and/or all ecotypes present.
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Management considerations

More info for the terms: competition, natural, selection

Wildlife:  The marbled murrelet is dependent on old-growth redwood
forests for nesting habitat.  This bird is listed as endangered in
California and is under consideration for federal protection as a
threatened species in California, Oregon, and Washington [1].
Old-growth redwood forests of northern California also provide critical
habitat for the federally endangered northern spotted owl [1].

Black-tailed deer numbers increase after clearcutting in the redwood
forest type as a result of the sudden increase in available understory
forage.  After canopy closure (20 to 30 years), black-tailed deer
numbers decrease rapidly [50].

        Years after clearcut    Number of deer

         0 to 5                      43
         5 to 10                    142
        10 to 15                     21
        15 to 20                     21
        20 to 25                      8
        25 to 30                      8     

Competition:  Evergreen hardwoods are strong competitors in the redwood
forest type.  Tanoak (Lithocarpus densiflorus) and Pacific madrone
(Arbutus menziesii) often sprout when cut, and reoccupy the site
before redwood.  These competitors can be controlled by trunk injections
of triclopyr (Garlon 3A), with two to three treatments over a 4- to
5-year period giving the best results.  Foliar spraying with triclopyr
can also control hardwoods but has adverse effects on redwood [56].

Mulching and the use of ground covers increase survival of planted
seedlings by reducing water evaporation and reducing competition from
shrubs [35].  Seedling survival can also be enhanced with the use of
shades [2].

Damage:  Damaging agents include insects, branch canker (Coryneum spp.),
and heart rots (Poria sequoiae, P. albipellucida).  The insects
associated with redwood cause no significant damage, but the branch
canker girdles stems and branches, which can be especially harmful in
plantations.  Heart rots cause extensive cull in the redwood forest type
[40].

Wood rats girdle and strip the bark of redwood seedlings, and can
seriously limit redwood regeneration.  Where this is a problem, site
preparation should include destroying wood rat nesting areas [49].

Redwood is susceptible to damage from soil compaction in areas of heavy
foot traffic [4].

Silviculture:  The preferred silvicultural system for harvesting
redwoods is small clearcuts (30 to 40 acres) [10,41].  Boe [9] provides
information on the three silvicultural systems used in the redwood
forest type:  clearcut, shelterwood, and selection cut.

Other:  Namkoong and Roberds [39] developed an extinction model for
redwood.  Their findings reveal there is a small probability of
extinction due to natural processes, which can easily be circumvented by
planting.
  • 1.  Abate, Tom. 1992. Which bird is the better indicator species for        old-growth forest?. BioScience. 42(1): 8-9.  [17437]
  • 2.  Adams, Ronald S. 1974. When it pays to shade planted tree seedlings.        State Forest Notes No. 55. Sacramento, CA: State of California, The        Resources Agency, Department of Conservation, Division of Forestry. 6 p.        [7936]
  • 4.  Arnold, Ron. 1975. Redwood region faces new park controversy. Western        Conservation Journal. 32(4): 12-16.  [8789]
  • 9.  Boe, Kenneth N. 1974. Growth and mortality after regeneration cuttings        in old-growth redwood. Res. Pap. PSW-104. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department        of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range        Experment Station, 13 p.  [11082]
  • 10.  Boe, Kenneth N. 1975. Natural seedlings and sprouts after regeneration        cuttings in old-growth redwood. PSW-111. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department        of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range        Experiment Station. 17 p.  [9897]
  • 35.  McDonald, Philip M.; Helgerson, Ole T. 1990. Mulches aid in regenerating        California and Oregon forests: past, present, and future. Gen. Tech.        Rep. PSW-123. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agricuture, Forest        Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station. 19 p.  [15105]
  • 39.  Namkoong, G.; Roberds, J. H. 1974. Extinction probabilities and the        changing age structure of redwood forests. American Naturalist.        108(961): 355-368.  [11081]
  • 40.  Olson, David F., Jr.; Roy, Douglass F.; Walters, Gerald A. 1990. Sequoia        sempervirens (D. Don) Endl.  redwood. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala,        Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics of North America. Volume 1.        Conifers. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of        Agriculture, Forest Service: 541-551.  [13414]
  • 41.  Osburn, Verne R.; Lowell, Phillip. 1972. A review of redwood harvesting.        Sacramento, CA: State of California, The Resources Agency, Department of        Conservation, Division of Forestry. 28 p.  [8792]
  • 49.  Schubert, Gilbert H.; Adams, Ronald S.; Moran, Lewis A. 1971.        Reforestation practices for conifers in California. Sacramento, CA:        State of California, The Resourses Agency, Department of Conservation,        Division of Forestry. 359 p.  [6994]
  • 50.  Taber, Richard D. 1973. Effects of even-age forest management on big        game. In: Hermann, Richard K.; Lavender, Denis P., eds. Even-age        management: Proceedings of a symposium; 1972 August 1; [Location of        conference unknown]
  • 56.  Warren, L. E. 1980. Control of tanoak and associated species with cut        surface treatments of GARLON 3A herbicide. Down to Earth. 36(2): 8-13.        [7525]

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Value for rehabilitation of disturbed sites

More info for the terms: natural, restoration, tree

In a large cutover area acquired by Redwood National Park, both
plantings and natural colonization of redwood on outsloped (recontoured
into the hillside) logging roads were used with good success.  This
treatment curtailed erosion in the park by an estimated 6.6 million
cubic feet (0.2 mil m3) [33].

Redwood was one of a number of native species used successfully to
reclaim a riparian ecosystem in a city park in Berkeley; redwoods on the
site had a high survival rate [57].

Redwood can be propagated via seed or cuttings.  Seeds should be sown
from December to April.  If planting with a seed drill, the recommended
depth is 0.125 inch (0.32 cm), with a seeding rate that will yield 30
seedlings per square foot (333 seedlings/sq m) [8].  Cuttings from 2- to
3-year-old seedlings produce the highest percentage of rooted cuttings
(up to 90 percent); cuttings from older trees are more difficult to root
[36,40].  Hedging (close-cropping) can maintain the rooting capabilities
of the donor tree.  By repeated hedging a single donor seedling and its
clones can produce a million cuttings in 3 years [40].  Redwood can also
be successfully propagated in plant tissue culture.  The callus can be
induced to generate cultured plantlets.  The cultured plantlets are
usually twice the size of seedlings the same age [40].

Millar and Libby [37] have developed guidelines for redwood seed
collection and for the use of redwood in the restoration of disturbed
areas.
  • 8.  Boe, Kenneth N. 1974. Sequoia sempervirens (D. Don) Endl.   Redwood. In:        Schopmeyer, C. S., ed. Seeds of woody plants in the United States.        Agriculture Handbook No. 450. Washington: U. S. Department of        Agriculture, Forest Service: 764-766.  [7750]
  • 33.  Marx, Wesley. 1990. A greening on the Sundown Coast. California Coast &        Ocean. 6(2): 33-38.  [15140]
  • 36.  Metcalf, Woodbridge. 1924. Artificial reproduction of redwood. Journal        of Forestry. 22: 873-893.  [15524]
  • 37.  Millar, Constance I.; Libby, William J. 1989. Disneyland or native        ecosystem: genetics and the restorationist. Restoration and Management        Notes. 7(1): 18-24.  [8071]
  • 40.  Olson, David F., Jr.; Roy, Douglass F.; Walters, Gerald A. 1990. Sequoia        sempervirens (D. Don) Endl.  redwood. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala,        Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics of North America. Volume 1.        Conifers. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of        Agriculture, Forest Service: 541-551.  [13414]
  • 57.  Wolfe, Douglas. 1988. Recreating a "natural" riparian environment, or        getting the creek out of the culvert. In: Rieger, John P.; Williams,        Bradford K., eds. Proceedings of the second native plant revegetation        symposium; 1987 April 15-18; San Diego, CA. Madison, WI: University of        Wisconsin - Arboretum, Society of Ecological Restoration & Management:        193-197.  [4114]

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Cover Value

More info for the terms: cover, tree

Redwood forests provide hiding and thermal cover for Roosevelt elk,
black-tailed deer, and a variety of small mammals [24,45,48,50].

The pileated woodpecker generally selects broken tree tops or snags with
rot for nesting cover.  The softness of redwood, however, allows the
pileated woodpecker to use green trees of adequate size.  In one study
only half the nests of pileated woodpeckers were in redwoods that had
broken tops with rot, while the other half were in sound green trees
with no sign of decay in the excavation chips [25].

In California, the state-endangered marbled murrelet nests exclusively
in coastal old-growth redwood forests [46].
  • 24.  Harper, James A. 1962. Daytime feeding habits of Roosevelt elk on Boyes        Prairie, California. Journal of Wildlife Management. 26(1): 97-100.        [8876]
  • 45.  Ralph, C. John; Paton, Peter W. C.; Taylor, Cathy A. 1991. Habitat        association patterns of breeding birds ans small mammals in        Douglas-fir/hardwood stands in nw California and sw Oregon. In:        Ruggiero, Leonard F.; Aubry, Keith B.; Carey, Andrew B.; Huff, Mark H.,        technical coordinators. Wildlife and vegetation of unmanaged Douglas-fir        forests. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-285. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of        Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station:        379-393.  [17329]
  • 46.  Ralph, C. John; Paton, Peter W. C.; Zakis, Aivars; Strachan, Gary. 1990.        Breeding distribution of the marbled murrelet in Redwood National Park        and vicinity during 1988. In: Van Riper, Charles, III; Stohlgren, Thomas        J.; Veirs, Stephen D., Jr.; Hillyer, Silvia Castillo, eds. Examples of        resource inventory and monitoring inNational Parks of California:        Proceedings, 3rd biennial conference on research in California's        National Parks; 1988 September 13-15; Davis, CA: Transactions and        Proceedings Series No. 8. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the        Interior, National Park Service: 57-70.  [15196]
  • 48.  Roberts, Warren G.; Howe, J. Greg; Major, Jack. 1980. A survey of        riparian forest flora and fauna in California. In: Sands, Anne, editor.        Riparian forests in California: Their ecology and conservation:        Symposium proceedings. Davis, CA: University of California, Division of        Agricultural Sciences: 3-19.  [5271]
  • 50.  Taber, Richard D. 1973. Effects of even-age forest management on big        game. In: Hermann, Richard K.; Lavender, Denis P., eds. Even-age        management: Proceedings of a symposium; 1972 August 1; [Location of        conference unknown]
  • 25.  Harris, Roger D. 1983. Decay characteristics of pileated woodpecker nest        trees. In: Davis, Jerry W.; Goodwin, Gregory A.; Ockenfeis, Richard A.,        technical coordinators. Snag Habitat management: proceedings of the        symposium; 1983 June 7-9; Flagstaff, AZ. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-99. Fort        Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky        Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 125-129.  [17826]

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Wood Products Value

Redwood is one of California's most valuable timber species [36].  The
wood is soft, weak, easily split, and very resistant to decay
[38,40,44].  The clear wood is used for dimension stock and shingles
[44].  Redwood burls are used in the production of table tops, veneers,
and turned goods [40].
  • 36.  Metcalf, Woodbridge. 1924. Artificial reproduction of redwood. Journal        of Forestry. 22: 873-893.  [15524]
  • 38.  Munz, Philip A. 1973. A California flora and supplement. Berkeley, CA:        University of California Press. 1905 p.  [6155]
  • 40.  Olson, David F., Jr.; Roy, Douglass F.; Walters, Gerald A. 1990. Sequoia        sempervirens (D. Don) Endl.  redwood. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala,        Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics of North America. Volume 1.        Conifers. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of        Agriculture, Forest Service: 541-551.  [13414]
  • 44.  Preston, Richard J., Jr. 1948. North American trees. Ames, IA: The Iowa        State College Press. 371 p.  [1913]

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Other uses and values

The cultivars 'Nana Pendula' and 'Prostrata' are grown extensively as
ornamentals due to their reduced size [28].  Redwood has been planted in
New Zealand, Australia, and Europe [40].

Native Americans used redwood in the construction of canoes and as grave
markers [51].
  • 28.  Kruckeberg, A. R. 1982. Gardening with native plants of the Pacific        Northwest. Seattle: University of Washington Press. 252 p.  [9980]
  • 40.  Olson, David F., Jr.; Roy, Douglass F.; Walters, Gerald A. 1990. Sequoia        sempervirens (D. Don) Endl.  redwood. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala,        Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics of North America. Volume 1.        Conifers. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of        Agriculture, Forest Service: 541-551.  [13414]
  • 51.  Timbrook, Jan. 1990. Ethnobotany of Chumash Indians, California, based        on collections by John P. Harrington. Economic Botany. 44(2): 236-253.        [13777]

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Importance to Livestock and Wildlife

Redwood forests provide habitat for variety of mammals, aviafauna,
reptiles, and amphibians [7,45,48].  Remnant old-growth redwood stands
provide habitat for the federally threatened spotted owl and the
California-endangered marbled murrelet [1,46].

In settlement times fire scar cavities at the base of larger redwood
boles were used as goose pens; hence the name "goosepens" has been used
to denote fire scar cavities [14].
  • 7.  Bernard, Stephen R.; Brown, Kenneth F. 1977. Distribution of mammals,        reptiles, and amphibians by BLM physiographic regions and A.W. Kuchler's        associations for the eleven western states. Tech. Note 301. Denver, CO:        U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management. 169 p.        [434]
  • 1.  Abate, Tom. 1992. Which bird is the better indicator species for        old-growth forest?. BioScience. 42(1): 8-9.  [17437]
  • 14.  Finney, Mark Arnold. 1991. Ecological effects of prescribed and        simulated fire on the coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens (D. Don)        Endl.). Berkeley, CA: University of California. 179 p. Dissertation.        [15222]
  • 45.  Ralph, C. John; Paton, Peter W. C.; Taylor, Cathy A. 1991. Habitat        association patterns of breeding birds ans small mammals in        Douglas-fir/hardwood stands in nw California and sw Oregon. In:        Ruggiero, Leonard F.; Aubry, Keith B.; Carey, Andrew B.; Huff, Mark H.,        technical coordinators. Wildlife and vegetation of unmanaged Douglas-fir        forests. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-285. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of        Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station:        379-393.  [17329]
  • 46.  Ralph, C. John; Paton, Peter W. C.; Zakis, Aivars; Strachan, Gary. 1990.        Breeding distribution of the marbled murrelet in Redwood National Park        and vicinity during 1988. In: Van Riper, Charles, III; Stohlgren, Thomas        J.; Veirs, Stephen D., Jr.; Hillyer, Silvia Castillo, eds. Examples of        resource inventory and monitoring inNational Parks of California:        Proceedings, 3rd biennial conference on research in California's        National Parks; 1988 September 13-15; Davis, CA: Transactions and        Proceedings Series No. 8. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the        Interior, National Park Service: 57-70.  [15196]
  • 48.  Roberts, Warren G.; Howe, J. Greg; Major, Jack. 1980. A survey of        riparian forest flora and fauna in California. In: Sands, Anne, editor.        Riparian forests in California: Their ecology and conservation:        Symposium proceedings. Davis, CA: University of California, Division of        Agricultural Sciences: 3-19.  [5271]

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Special Uses

Redwood is used where decay resistance is important. Clark and Scheffer  (14) found that decay resistance varied among trees or within the  heartwood of individual trees. Decay resistance decreased from outer to  inner hardwood. Wood classified as very decay resistant was about five  times more prevalent in old-growth than in young-growth trees.

    A prominent special feature of the redwood is its production of burls  from which beautifully figured table tops, veneers, bowls, and other  turned products are cut. These burls are found on any part of the trunk  and in sizes varying from an inch to many feet in diameter. Their cause is  unknown. Small burls containing hundreds of dormant buds often are cut and  placed in shallow containers, kept moist, and allowed to sprout. These  live burls serve as attractive house plants.

    Another feature of redwood is its extremely tough and fibrous bark. The  bark must be removed before logs reach the head saws so that sawing  uniform lumber will be possible. The bark is used as hog fuel, insulation,  or garden mulch.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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David F. Olson Jr.

Source: Silvics of North America

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Wikipedia

Sequoia sempervirens

Trunk in sectional view

Sequoia sempervirens /sɨˈkɔɪ.ə sɛmpərˈvaɪərənz/[2] is the sole living species of the genus Sequoia in the cypress family Cupressaceae (formerly treated in Taxodiaceae). Common names include coast redwood, California redwood, God trees and giant redwood.[3] It is an evergreen, long-lived, monoecious tree living 1,200–1,800 years or more.[4] This species includes the tallest trees living now on Earth, reaching up to 379 feet (115.5 m) in height (without the roots) and up to 26 feet (7.9 m) in diameter at breast height. Before commercial logging and clearing began by the 1850s, this massive tree occurred naturally in an estimated 2,100,000 acres (8,500 km2) along much of coastal California (excluding southern California where rainfall is not sufficient) and the southwestern corner of coastal Oregon within the United States. An estimated 95% or more of the original old-growth redwood forest has been cut down[5] due to its excellent properties for use as lumber in construction.

The name sequoia — derived not, as was long believed, from the name of the Cherokee linguist Sequoyah but from the Latin for "sequence"[6] — sometimes refers to the subfamily Sequoioideae, which includes S. sempervirens along with Sequoiadendron (giant sequoia) and Metasequoia (dawn redwood). On its own, the term redwood usually refers to the coast redwood, which is covered in this article, and not to the other two species.

Description[edit]

Bark detail

The coast redwood has a conical crown, with horizontal to slightly drooping branches. The bark is very thick, up to 12 in (30 cm), and quite soft and fibrous, with a bright red-brown color when freshly exposed (hence the name redwood), weathering darker. The root system is composed of shallow, wide-spreading lateral roots.

The leaves are variable, being 15–25 mm (0.59–0.98 in) long and flat on young trees and shaded shoots in the lower crown of old trees. On the other hand, they are scale-like, 5–10 mm (0.20–0.39 in) long on shoots in full sun in the upper crown of older trees, with a full range of transition between the two extremes. They are dark green above and have two blue-white stomatal bands below. Leaf arrangement is spiral, but the larger shade leaves are twisted at the base to lie in a flat plane for maximum light capture.

The species is monoecious, with pollen and seed cones on the same plant. The seed cones are ovoid, 15–32 millimetres (0.59–1.26 in) long, with 15–25 spirally arranged scales; pollination is in late winter with maturation about 8–9 months after. Each cone scale bears three to seven seeds, each seed 3–4 millimetres (0.12–0.16 in) long and 0.5 millimetres (0.020 in) broad, with two wings 1 millimetre (0.039 in) wide. The seeds are released when the cone scales dry out and open at maturity. The pollen cones are ovular and 4–6 millimetres (0.16–0.24 in) long.

Its genetic makeup is unusual among conifers, being a hexaploid (6n) and possibly allopolyploid (AAAABB).[7] Both the mitochondrial and chloroplast genomes of the redwood are paternally inherited.[8]

Range and ecology[edit]

Sunlight shining through redwoods in Muir Woods
Fog is of major importance in coast redwood ecology. Redwood National Park

Coast redwoods occupy a narrow strip of land approximately 470 mi (750 km) in length and 5-47 mi (8–75 km) in width along the Pacific coast of North America; the most southerly grove is in Monterey County, California, and the most northerly groves are in extreme southwestern Oregon. The prevailing elevation range is 98–2,460 feet (30–750 m) above sea level, occasionally down to 0 and up to 3,000 ft (about 920 meters).[9] They usually grow in the mountains where precipitation from the incoming moisture off the ocean is greater. The tallest and oldest trees are found in deep valleys and gullies, where year-round streams can flow, and fog drip is regular. It was also much harder to get equipment down in these gullies to log them, saving some of the larger specimens. The trees above the fog layer, above about 2,296 feet (700 m), are shorter and smaller due to the drier, windier, and colder conditions. In addition, Douglas-fir, pine, and tanoak often crowd out redwoods at these elevations. Few redwoods grow close to the ocean, due to intense salt spray, sand, and wind. Coalescence of coastal fog accounts for a considerable part of the trees' water needs.[10]

The northern boundary of its range is marked by two groves on the Chetco River on the western fringe of the Klamath Mountains, 15 mi (24 km) north of the California-Oregon border. The largest (and tallest) populations are in Redwood National and State Parks (Del Norte and Humboldt Counties) and Humboldt Redwoods State Park (Humboldt County, California), with the majority located in the much larger Humboldt County. The southern boundary of its range is the Los Padres National Forest's Silver Peak Wilderness in the Santa Lucia Mountains of the Big Sur area of Monterey County, California. The southernmost grove is in the Southern Redwood Botanical Area, just north of the national forest's Salmon Creek trailhead.[11]

This native area provides a unique environment with heavy seasonal rains (98 inches (2,500 mm) annually). Cool coastal air and fog drip keep this forest consistently damp year round. Several factors, including the heavy rainfall, create a soil with fewer nutrients than the trees need, causing them to depend heavily on the entire biotic community of the forest, especially complete recycling of the trees when dead. This forest community includes coast Douglas-fir, Pacific madrone, tanoak, western hemlock, and other trees, along with a wide variety of ferns, mosses, mushrooms, and redwood sorrel. Redwood forests provide habitat for a variety of amphibians, bird, mammals, and reptiles. Old-growth redwood stands provide habitat for the federally threatened spotted owl and the California-endangered marbled murrelet.

The thick, tannin-rich bark, combined with foliage starting high above the ground provides good protection from both fire and insect damage, contributing to the coast redwood's longevity. The oldest known specimen is about 2,200 years old;[12] many others in the wild exceed 600 years. The numerous claims of older trees are incorrect.[12] Because of their seemingly timeless lifespans, coast redwoods were deemed the "everlasting redwood" at the turn of the century; in Latin, sempervirens means "ever green" or "everlasting". Redwood must endure fire to attain such great ages, so this species has many fire-resistant characteristics. In addition, fires appear to actually benefit redwoods by causing substantial mortality in competing species while having only minor effects on redwood. One recent study, the first to compare postwildfire survival and regeneration of redwood and associated species, concluded fires of all severity increase the relative abundance of redwood and higher-severity fires provide the greatest benefit.[13]

The prehistoric fossil range of the genus is considerably greater, with a subcosmopolitan distribution including Europe and Asia until about 5 million years ago.

Reproduction[edit]

A ring of redwoods as seen from below

Coast redwood reproduces both sexually by seed and asexually by sprouting of buds, layering, or lignotubers. Seed production begins at 10–15 years of age, and large seed crops occur frequently, but viability of the seed is low, typically well below 15%.[14] The low viability may discourage seed predators, which do not want to waste time sorting chaff (empty seeds) from edible seeds. The winged seeds are small and light, weighing 3.3–5.0 mg (200-300 seeds/g; 5,600-8,500/ounce). The wings are not effective for wide dispersal, and seeds are dispersed by wind an average of only 60–120 m (200–400 ft) from the parent tree. Growth of seedlings is very fast, with young trees known to reach 20 m (65 ft) tall in 20 years.

Coast redwoods can also reproduce asexually by layering or sprouting from the root crown, stump, or even fallen branches; if a tree falls over, it will regenerate a row of new trees along the trunk, so many trees naturally grow in a straight line. Sprouts originate from dormant or adventitious buds at or under the surface of the bark. The dormant sprouts are stimulated when the main adult stem gets damaged or starts to die. Many sprouts spontaneously erupt and develop around the circumference of the tree trunk. Within a short period after sprouting, each sprout will develop its own root system, with the dominant sprouts forming a ring of trees around the parent root crown or stump. This ring of trees is called a "fairy ring". Sprouts can achieve heights of 2.3 m (8 ft) in a single growing season.

Redwoods may also reproduce using burls. A burl is a woody lignotuber that commonly appears on a redwood tree below the soil line, though usually within 3 metres (10 ft) in depth from the soil surface. Burls are capable of sprouting into new trees when detached from the parent tree, though exactly how this happens is yet to be studied. Shoot clones commonly sprout from burls and are often turned into decorative hedges when found in suburbia.

The species is very tolerant of flooding and flood deposits, the roots rapidly growing into thick silt deposits after floods.

Cultivation and uses[edit]

An example of a bonsai redwood, from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden
The Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail passing through a fallen California redwood tree

Coast redwood is one of the most valuable timber species in the lumbering industry. In California, 899,000 acres (3,640 km2) of redwood forest are logged, virtually all of it second growth.[15] Though many entities have existed in the cutting and management of redwoods, perhaps none have had a more storied role than the Pacific Lumber Company (1863-2008) of Humboldt County, California, where it owned and managed over 200,000 acres (810 km2) of forests, primarily redwood. Coast redwood lumber is highly valued for its beauty, light weight, and resistance to decay. Its lack of resin makes it resistant to fire.

P.H. Shaughnessy, Chief Engineer of the San Francisco Fire Department wrote,

"In the recent great fire of San Francisco, that began April 18th, 1906, we succeeded in finally stopping it in nearly all directions where the unburned buildings were almost entirely of frame construction, and if the exterior finish of these buildings had not been of redwood lumber, I am satisfied that the area of the burned district would have been greatly extended."

Because of its impressive resistance to decay, redwood was extensively used for railroad ties and trestles throughout California. Many of the old ties have been recycled for use in gardens as borders, steps, house beams, etc. Redwood burls are used in the production of table tops, veneers, and turned goods.

The coast redwood is naturalized in New Zealand, notably at Whakarewarewa Forest, Rotorua.[16] Redwood has been grown in New Zealand plantations for over 100 years, and those planted in New Zealand have higher growth rates than those in California, mainly due to even rainfall distribution through the year.[17] Other areas of successful cultivation outside of the native range include Great Britain, Italy, Portugal,[18] the Queen Charlotte Islands, middle elevations of Hawaii, Hogsback in South Africa, a small area in central Mexico (Jilotepec), and the southeastern United States from eastern Texas to Maryland. It also does well in the Pacific Northwest (Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia), far north of its northernmost native range in southwestern Oregon. Coast redwood trees were used in a display at Rockefeller Center and then given to Longhouse Reserve in East Hampton, Long Island, New York, and these have now been living there for over twenty years and have survived at 2°F (-17°C).[19]

This fast-growing tree can be grown as an ornamental specimen in those large parks and gardens that can accommodate its massive size. It has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[20]

Statistics[edit]

Dried resin of a redwood tree
The foliage of an "albino" Sequoia sempervirens exhibiting lack of chlorophyll

Trees over 200 feet (60 m) are common, and many are over 300 feet (90 m). The current tallest tree is the Hyperion tree, measuring 379.3 feet (115.61 m).[12] The tree was discovered in Redwood National Park during the summer of 2006 by Chris Atkins and Michael Taylor, and is thought to be the world's tallest living organism. The previous record holder was the Stratosphere Giant in Humboldt Redwoods State Park at 370.2 feet (112.84 m) (as measured in 2004). Until it fell in March 1991, the "Dyerville Giant" was the record holder. It, too, stood in Humboldt Redwoods State Park and was 372 feet (113.4 m) high and estimated to be 1,600 years old. This huge fallen giant has been preserved in the park to allow visitors to walk along its trunk.

Forty-one measured living trees are more than 360 feet (109.7 m) tall,[21] and 178 are more than 350 feet (106.7 m) tall.[21] Preliminary LiDAR data indicate hundreds of additional trees are in excess of 350 feet (106.7 m), which were previously unknown.[22] A tree claimed to be 380 feet (115.8 m) was cut down in 1914,[23] and another claimed to be 424 feet (129.2 m) was felled in November 1886 by the Elk River Mill and Lumber Co. in Humboldt County, California, yielding 79,736 marketable board feet from 21 cuts.[24][25][26] However, these accounts and many others must be viewed with skepticism as there is limited evidence to corroborate the measurements, and exaggerated claims were not uncommon in the lumber industry.

Although coast redwoods are the tallest known living trees, historical accounts of taller Australian mountain ash and Douglas fir trees exist—sometimes exceeding 400 feet (122 m). Like most of the redwoods, these giants fell victim to widespread commercial logging in the 19th and 20th centuries and the tallest existing specimens of each are much shorter than the tallest redwoods. A Douglas fir that fell in 1924 in Mineral, Washington was determined to have been about 1020 years old, 393 feet (119.8 m) high, and 15.4 feet (4.69 m) in diameter by two highly respected forest scientists.[27] Another Douglas fir cut down in 1902 at Lynn Valley on the north shore of the city of Vancouver, British Columbia was reported to have measured 415 feet (126.5 m) in height and 14.3 feet (4.36 m) in diameter, although these measurements are somewhat less certain.[28] Other accounts claim felled Douglas firs were as tall as 465 feet (141.7 m).[29][30][31][32]

These accounts aside, fairly solid evidence indicates that coast redwoods were the world's largest trees before logging, with numerous historical specimens reportedly over 400 feet (122 m).[33] The theoretical maximum potential height of coast redwoods is thought to be limited to between 400 and 425 feet (121.9 and 129.5 m) as capillary action is insufficient to transport water to leaves beyond this range.[34]

The largest known living coast redwood is the "Lost Monarch", with an estimated volume of 42,500 cubic feet (1,200 m3); it is 321 feet (97.8 m) tall, with a diameter of 26 feet (7.9 m) at 4.5 feet above ground level. It is located in the Grove of Titans. Among current living trees, only six known giant sequoias are larger; these are shorter, but have thicker trunks overall, giving the largest giant sequoia, General Sherman, a volume of 52,500 cubic feet (1,490 m3), making it the world's current largest known tree.

About 50 albino redwoods (mutant individuals that cannot manufacture chlorophyll) are known to exist, reaching heights of up to 20 metres (66 ft).[35] These trees survive as parasites, obtaining food by grafting their root systems with those of normal trees, an ability unique to redwoods. While similar mutations occur sporadically in other conifers, no cases are known of such individuals surviving to maturity in any other conifer species.

Largest trees[edit]

Redwood with a large burl in Humboldt Redwoods State Park

The 10 largest known coast redwoods by total wood volume in the main trunk and stems combined, as of 2009, are:[36]

RankNameVolumeHeightDiameterLocation
1Lost Monarch42,500 cubic feet (1,200 m3)321 feet (97.8 m)26.0 feet (7.92 m)JSRSP
2Melkor39,100 cubic feet (1,110 m3)349 feet (106.4 m)22.4 feet (6.83 m)RNP
3Iluvatar37,500 cubic feet (1,060 m3)300 feet (91.4 m)20.5 feet (6.25 m)PCRSP
4Del Norte Titan37,200 cubic feet (1,050 m3)307 feet (93.6 m)23.7 feet (7.22 m)JSRSP
5El Viejo Del Norte35,400 cubic feet (1,000 m3)324 feet (98.8 m)23.0 feet (7.01 m)JSRSP
6Howland Hill Giant33,580 cubic feet (951 m3)330 feet (100.6 m)19.8 feet (6.04 m)JSRSP
7Sir Isaac Newton33,192 cubic feet (939.9 m3)299 feet (91.1 m)22.5 feet (6.86 m)PCRSP
8Terex Titan32,384 cubic feet (917.0 m3)270 feet (82.3 m)21.3 feet (6.49 m)PCRSP
9Adventure Tree32,140 cubic feet (910 m3)334 feet (101.8 m)16.5 feet (5.03 m)PCRSP
10Bull Creek Giant31,144 cubic feet (881.9 m3)339 feet (103.3 m)22.3 feet (6.80 m)HRSP

Diameter stated is as measured at 1.4 meters (~4.5 feet) above average ground level (diameter at breast height). Details of the precise locations of all above trees have not been announced to the general public for fear of publicity causing damage to the trees and the surrounding ecology. The order of largest and tallest can change at any time due to new discoveries, loss of stem and foliage, growth, and new measurements. One of the better known internet databases for large conifers is the Gymnosperm Database,[12] but its data can be different from other resources due to differences in standards.

Tallest trees[edit]

Trees over 112 m (367 ft), as of 2010:[21]

RankNameHeightDiameterLocation
1Hyperion379.3 feet (115.61 m)15.2 feet (4.63 m)RNSP
2Helios375.9 feet (114.57 m)16.0 feet (4.88 m)RNSP
3Icarus371.2 feet (113.14 m)12.4 feet (3.78 m)RNSP
4Stratosphere Giant371.1 feet (113.11 m)17.0 feet (5.18 m)HRSP
5National Geographic369.9 feet (112.75 m)14.4 feet (4.39 m)RNSP
6Orion369.5 feet (112.62 m)13.7 feet (4.18 m)RNSP
7Lauralyn369.5 feet (112.62 m)14.9 feet (4.54 m)HRSP
8Paradox369.3 feet (112.56 m)12.8 feet (3.90 m)HRSP
9Mendocino368.1 feet (112.20 m)10.1 feet (3.08 m)MWSR
10Apex367.4 feet (111.98 m)11.1 feet (3.38 m)HRSP

Diameter stated is as measured at 1.4 meters (~4.5 feet) above average ground level (Diameter at breast height). Details of the precise locations of all above trees have not been announced to the general public for fear of publicity causing damage to the trees and the surrounding ecology. The tallest coast redwood easily accessible to the public is the Founders Tree in Humboldt Redwoods State Park, standing over 346 feet tall.

Other Notable Examples[edit]

  • The Navigation (or Blossom Rock) trees were two especially tall Sequoia located in the Oakland Hills used as a navigation by sailors to avoid the treacherous Blossom Rock near Yerba Buena Island.[37]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Farjon, A. & Schmid, R. (2011). "Sequoia sempervirens". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 2 January 2014. 
  2. ^ Sunset Western Garden Book, 1995:606–607
    "sempervirent". Oxford English Dictionary (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. September 2005. 
  3. ^ Sequoiadendron giganteum is also commonly referred to as "giant redwood".
  4. ^ "Sequoia gigantea is of an ancient and distinguished family". Nps.gov. 2007-02-02. Retrieved 2012-08-07. 
  5. ^ Kelly, D. and G. Braasch. 1988. Secrets of the old growth forest. Gibbs Smith, Layton, Utah: 1–99.
  6. ^ Lowe, Gary D. (2012). "Endlicher's sequence: the naming of the genus Sequoia" (PDF). Fremontia 40 (1 & 2): 25–35. Retrieved January 1, 2014. 
  7. ^ Ahuja, MR; Neale, DB (2002). "Origins of Polyploidy in Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) and Relationship of Coast Redwood to other Genera of Taxodiaceae". Silvae Genetica 51 (2–3): 93–100. 
  8. ^ Neale, DB; Marshall, KA; Sederoff, RR (1989). "Chloroplast and Mitochondrial DNA are Paternally Inherited in Sequoia sempervirens". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 86 (23): 9347–9. doi:10.1073/pnas.86.23.9347. PMC 298492. PMID 16594091. 
  9. ^ Farjon, A. (2005). Monograph of Cupressaceae and Sciadopitys. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. ISBN 1-84246-068-4.
  10. ^ "Redwood fog drip". Bio.net. 1998-12-02. Retrieved 2012-08-07. 
  11. ^ "Los Padres National Forest". Redwoodhikes.com. Retrieved 2012-08-07. 
  12. ^ a b c d Earle, CJ (2011). "Sequoia sempervirens". The Gymnosperm Database. Olympia, Washington: self-published. Retrieved 2011-08-13. 
  13. ^ Ramage, B.S., OʼHara, K.L. & Caldwell, B.T. 2010. The role of fire in the competitive dynamics of coast redwood forests. Ecosphere. 1: article 20.
  14. ^ "Botanical Garden Logistics". UC Berkeley – Biology 1B – Plants & Their Environments (p. 13). Berkeley, California: Department of Integrative Biology, University of California-Berkeley. Archived from the original on 2013-05-13. Retrieved 2014-01-02. 
  15. ^ "IUCN Red List of Threatened Species". Species Survival Commission. Retrieved 2011-08-14. 
  16. ^ "Kia Ora - Welcome to The Redwoods Whakarewarewa Forest". Rotorua District Council. Retrieved November 10, 2011. 
  17. ^ "Redwood History". The New Zealand Redwood Company. Retrieved November 10, 2011. 
  18. ^ "Distribution within Europe". Retrieved 2011-08-14. 
  19. ^ "Longhouse". Retrieved 2011-08-14. 
  20. ^ "RHS Plant Selector Sequoia sempervirens AGM / RHS Gardening". Apps.rhs.org.uk. Retrieved 2012-08-07. 
  21. ^ a b c Tallest Coast Redwoods. Landmark Trees Archive. Retrieved 2010-03-09
  22. ^ Tree Climbers International - The world's second tallest tree found in Tasmania
  23. ^ Carder, A (1995). Forest giants of the world: past and present. Ontario: Fitzhenry and Whiteside. ISBN 978-1-55041-090-7. 
  24. ^ Redwood Lumber Industry, Lynwood Carranco. Golden West Books, 1982 - Page 21.
  25. ^ "Fort Worth Daily Gazette, Fort Worth, Texas. December 9th, 1886 - Page 2". Chroniclingamerica.loc.gov. Retrieved 2012-08-07. 
  26. ^ "Does size matter? John Driscoll/The Times-Standard, Eureka, California. September 8th, 2006". Times-standard.com. Retrieved 2012-08-07. 
  27. ^ Earle, Christopher, ed. (23 Nov 2012). "Pseudotsuga menziesii var. menziesii". The Gymnosperm Database. Retrieved 23 July 2013. 
  28. ^ British Columbia Forest History Newsletter, January 1996
  29. ^ The New York Times – Topics of The Times, March 7, 1897
  30. ^ Meehans' Monthly: A Magazine of Horticulture, Botany and Kindred Subjects Published by Thomas Meehan & Sons, 1897 pg. 24
  31. ^ The Morning Times. (Washington, D.C.), February 28, 1897, Pg. 19.
  32. ^ Ron Judd (Sep. 4, 2011). "Restless Native | Giant logged long ago but not forgotten". The Seattle Times. Retrieved Sep. 7, 2011. 
  33. ^ Van Pelt, R (2001). Forest giants of the Pacific coast. Global Forest Society. pp. 16, 42. ISBN 0-9684143-1-1. 
  34. ^ Koch, G.W., Sillett, S.C., Jennings, G.M., and Davis, S.D. 2004. The limits to tree height. Nature 428: 851–854.
  35. ^ Stienstra, T (2007-10-11). "It's no snow job: handful of redwoods are rare albinos". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2011-08-14. 
  36. ^ Largest Coast Redwoods. Landmark Trees Archive. Retrieved 2010-03-09
  37. ^ [1] California State Parks Office of Historic Preservation
  38. ^ [2], San Francisco Chronicle, Jim Herron Zamora, Monday, August 14, 2006
  39. ^ [3], San Francisco Chronicle, Peter Fimrite, May 8, 2013
  40. ^ [4], BayNature, Gordy Slack, July 1, 2004

Further reading[edit]

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Notes

Comments

Redwood is the only naturally occurring hexaploid conifer. It is one of only a few vegetatively reproducing conifers (from stump sprouts) and possibly the tallest tree species known. Winter buds, though small, are evident. 

 Redwood, including Sequoia sempervirens and Sequoiadendron giganteum , is the state tree of California.

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© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Common Names

redwood
California redwood
coast redwood

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Synonyms

Taxodium sempervirens (D. Don) Lamb.
Steinhauera sempervirens (Voss. S.) Presl.

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The currently accepted scientific name of redwood is Sequoia
sempervirens (D. Don) Endl. Redwood is a member of the Taxodium
(Taxodiaceae) family [44]. There are no recognized subspecies,
varieties, or forms.
  • 44.  Preston, Richard J., Jr. 1948. North American trees. Ames, IA: The Iowa        State College Press. 371 p.  [1913]

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