Graves, Arthur H. Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, New Haven, Connecticut.
Davis, Kenneth P. School of Forestry, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.
Last reviewed:August 2020
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A member of the pine family, Sequoia sempervirens, which is the tallest tree in the Americas. Redwood trees (see illustration) can attain a height of 350 ft (107 m) and a diameter of 27 ft (8.2 m). The range of redwoods is limited to a strip along the Pacific Coast that is about 35 mi (56 km) in width and 500 mi (800 km) in length, extending from southwest Oregon to about 100 mi (160 km) south of San Francisco, California. The leaves are evergreen, sharply pointed, small (0.3–1 in. or 7.5–25 mm in length), distichous (disposed in two vertical rows) on short branches, and scalelike on the main stem. The cones are egg-shaped, about 1 in. (25 mm) in length and 0.5 in. (12.5 mm) in breadth. The bark is a dull red-brown, sometimes 1 ft (0.3 m) in thickness on old trees, densely fibrous, and highly resistant to fire. The tree gets its common name from the color of the bark as well as that of the heartwood. The wood is moderately light in weight and strength and is low in warp and shrinkage; it is not difficult to work. The heartwood is especially valuable, being highly resistant to decay. The wood holds paint well. It is used for bridge timbers, tanks, flumes, silos, posts, shingles, paneling, doors, caskets, furniture, siding, and many other building purposes. The Janka hardness for redwood is 420 lb-force (190 kg-force); its density is 25 lb/ft3 (400 kg/m3). See also: Forest and forestry; Pinales; Pine; Sequoia; Tree
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