Winter hardy to USDA Zones 7-9. May not be grown in the St. Louis area. Where it may be grown, it is best in moist, rich, humusy, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates some light shade. Grows best in cool, moist, coastal climates with consistently high moisture levels. Tolerant of wet soils. Intolerant of dry soils. Generally intolerant of temperature extremes. Although technically winter hardy to the deep South, it does not grow well there.
Sequoia sempervirens, called coast redwood, is so named because it is native to moist, foggy, coastal plain areas along the Pacific coast, now being primarily confined to a narrow coastal belt (to 20 miles inland) extending from southern Oregon south to the San Francisco Bay area. This is a narrow-conical, evergreen conifer that is typically found, sometimes in magnificent pure strands, in high moisture coastal areas that are regularly blanketed with fog rolling in from the Pacific. In this native habitat, it is a magnificent, long-lived tree that is generally considered to be the tallest tree in the world, growing to 350’ with a trunk diameter of 20-25’. Although fast-growing in its native habitat, it still may take 400+ years for a redwood to reach maturity. But, it can live to 2000 years or more. In cultivation outside of its native habitat, it will grow much smaller, typically to 60-90’ tall. Coast redwood features flat, bright green needles (to 1” long), oblong seed cones to 1.25” long and furrowed, reddish-brown bark on a straight trunk that is flared outward at the base. This is a prized lumber tree for its rot-resistant wood that is straight-grained and knot-free. Many trees have been protected in areas such as Redwood National Park, Muir Woods and a number of California State Parks.
Sequoia sempervirens along with its close cousin Sequoiadendron gigantea (giant sequoia) are jointly designated as the State Tree of California.
Genus name honors George Gist (1770-1843) born to a German-American merchant and an American Indian girl and was known as Sequoia or Sequioish. He was the inventor of the Cherokee alphabet.
Specific epithet means ever green.
No serious insect or disease problems.
Where it can be grown, this is a large tree that needs a large space.