Sequoiadendron giganteum - Giant Sequoia - Cupressaceae
Morphology: Large evergreen coniferous tree, up to 52m. Conic in youth, with swooping and upcurving branches with age. Thick red spongy bark.
When the sequoias were initially discovered, many of them were felled for their timber. This was fairly wasteful as, due to their mass and brittle composition, they often shattered on impact with the ground, making much of their timber useless. The wood was used for shingles, fenceposts and even matchsticks. Some entrepreneurs are testing sequoias as an alternative timber crop, but their main economic uses remain tourism and horticulture.
The sequoias are the largest living trees by volume in the world. The largest tree is called ‘General Sherman’, and has a height of 83.8 meters and a volume of 1486.9 cubic meters. It is the only plant within the genus Sequoiadendron and one of three redwoods, which are included in the subfamily Sequoioideae.