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Sequoiadendron giganteum - Giant Sequoia - 30 seeds

Sequoiadendron giganteum - Giant Sequoia - 30 seeds

Sequoiadendron giganteum, commonly known as the Giant Sequoia, Bigtree or Sierra Redwood is world renowned as the largest living thing on the planet, and these majestic trees continue to inspire wonder.  Although not the tallest trees, their sheer volume, with the possible exception of colonial organisms such as corals, make Giant Sequoias the largest living things on earth. 
Also known as 'Big Tree' in California, the Giant Sequoia lives up to its name, reaching up to 95m in height and 11m in diameter. 


The massive, tapering trunk is a characteristic reddish-brown colour - the bark is extremely thick, sometimes up to 60cm and deeply furrowed.  In mature trees the first half of the trunk is clear of branches, they form a rounded crown towards the top with individual branches sweeping downward with upturned ends.  The small, scale-like leaves are green and spirally arranged. Both male and female cones are carried on the same tree; female cones are up to 7.5cm long and 4cm wide, composed of spirally arranged scales.  They are reddish-brown when mature and contain numerous, flattened, winged seeds. 


The Giant Sequoia is found on the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, California, United States.  Today the range is much more discontinuous than it once was, and the species is restricted to around 75 distinct groves.  This species inhabits mixed conifer woodlands in protected areas where there are deep, moist soils, at altitudes between 1,100 and 1,500m above sea level.
Giant Sequoias take around 20 years to reach maturity and start bearing cones, and the oldest known individuals are over 3,000 years old.  Pollination occurs between December and May and cones develop during the Spring and Summer months, seeds are only released as the cones dry out, shrinking and thus revealing gaps from which the seeds can fall - the process is therefore dependent on particular conditions and cones can lay dormant for many years. 
Each cone contains roughly 230 seeds and each tree will have around 11,000 cones at any one time - these tiny winged seeds are dispersed away from their parent tree by the wind, insects and rodents. 
The germination of seeds is, however, also dependent on particular conditions and these tiny, thin seeds require highly favourable soils with no overlying vegetation into which they can bury easily.  As with other long lived trees, fire seems to pay an important role in the life of a Giant Sequoia.  A relatively high frequency of low intensity fires helps to rid the area of competitors whilst providing rich soils for the germination of seedlings.  The heat generated by fires also helps to dry out the cones and open them.  Mature trees are fairly indestructible as the loosely packed fibres in the thick bark are very poor conductors of fire . 
30 premium quality seeds shipped on receipt of cleared funds.
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