sequoia

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sequoia

(sĭkwoi`ə), name for the redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) and for the big tree, or giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum), both huge, coniferous evergreen trees of the bald cypressbald cypress,
common name for members of the Taxodiaceae, a small family of deciduous or evergreen conifers with needlelike or scalelike leaves and woody cones. Most species of the family are trees of East Asia; almost all are cultivated for ornament (and are often erroneously
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 family, and for extinct related species. Sequoias probably originated over 100 million years ago. Once widespread in temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere, the trees were almost exterminated by the ice sheets of the glacial ages. Several species are known only by fossil remains; some such fossils have been found in the Petrified Forest in Arizona.

The two living species survive only in a narrow strip near the Pacific coast of the United States. The redwood occurs along the coast of California and S Oregon, often in easily lumbered, pure stands. Growing 100 to 385 ft (30–117 m) high, it is probably the tallest tree in the world; the tallest known tree is the redwood Hyperion (379.1 ft/115.5 m), in Redwood National Park. The redwood is able to obtain the abundant moisture needed to sustain its towering growth by capturing water from regularly occurring ocean fogs. The water then drips down from the leaves and branches to the soil, where it penetrates to be absorbed by the roots. The redwood's trunk is 20 to 25 ft (6.1–7.6 m) in diameter, and its needlelike leaves are usually bluish green. Some redwoods are believed to be over 2,000 years old. The big tree, 150 to 325 ft (46–99 m) tall and with a trunk 10 to 30 ft (3–9.1 m) in diameter, grows on the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada in California. It reaches an even greater age than the redwood; some individuals are believed to be 3,000 to 4,000 years old. The leaves are small, overlapping scales. Both trees have deeply grooved, reddish bark and soft, straight-grained, reddish heartwood whose resistance to decay makes it especially valuable for outdoor building purposes, e.g., for shingles, siding, and flumes. Although the sequoias are protected in Kings Canyon, Redwood, Sequoia, and Yosemite national parks, Giant Sequoia National Monument, and several California state parks, their existence elsewhere is threatened by exploitation.

China's deciduous dawn redwood tree (Metasequoia) is believed to be a related species and is perhaps an ancestor of the California redwood. This genus was named and described from fossil remains a few years before the few living specimens were discovered during World War II. Some thousand trees were subsequently found, and they were on the verge of extinction by lumbering. The fast-growing dawn redwoods are now propagated elsewhere. The East Indian and South American redwoods are in the unrelated brazilwoodbrazilwood,
common name for several trees of the family Leguminosae (pulse family) whose wood yields a red dye. The dye has largely been replaced by synthetic dyes for fabrics, but it is still used in high-quality red inks.
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 genus.

The sequoia is classified in the division PinophytaPinophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called gymnosperms. The gymnosperms, a group that includes the pine, have stems, roots and leaves, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
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, class Pinopsida, order Coniferales, family Taxodiaceae.

Bibliography

See N. Taylor, The Ageless Relicts (1963); R. Silverberg, Vanishing Giants (1969).

Sequoia

 

a genus of coniferous evergreen trees of the family Taxodiaceae. The sole species is the redwood (S. sempervirens). The redwood and the giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) are among the tallest trees in the world. The redwood reaches heights greater than 100 m and diameters of 8.5 m. It forms dense forests in the mountains of California and southern Oregon. Fossils of the tree have been found in Europe and Asia. The wood is used in construction, for example, for underwater structures. It is rarely cultivated; in the USSR it is grown in Western Transcaucasia and also on the southern coast of the Crimea.

REFERENCE

Derev’ia i kustarniki SSSR, vol. 1. Moscow-Leningrad, 1949.

Sequoia

[si′kwȯi·yə]
(botany)
A genus of conifers having overlapping, scalelike evergreen leaves and vertical grooves in the trunk; the giant sequoia (Sequoia gigantea) is the largest and oldest of all living things.

sequoia

either of two giant Californian coniferous trees, Sequoia sempervirens (redwood) or Sequoiadendron giganteum (formerly Sequoia gigantea) (big tree or giant sequoia): family Taxodiaceae
References in periodicals archive ?
They include Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, historic houses, abbey ruins, Sites of Special Scientific Interest and rare flora and fauna, including Californian Redwoods and the greatly-endangered red squirrel.
Along with the Californian redwoods they are the largest living things that have ever existed on earth.
This time last year, the Solihull-born centre was doing well but without uprooting any Californian Redwoods.
Trees can range enormously in height from a 15ft Acer pensylvanicum, the so-called stripped maple on account of the silver striations on the bark, to the 300ft Californian Redwoods.
And the arboretum, with its exhibits well-labelled, boasts one of Wales' finest collections of exotic trees - including huge Californian redwoods.
It says, "Importations excited the banker John Naylor, owner in the mid-19th century of Leighton Hall - home of Britain's largest Californian redwoods and origin of that scourge of modern suburbia, the Leyland cypress.

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