Graves, Arthur H. Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, New Haven, Connecticut.
Davis, Kenneth P. School of Forestry, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.
- Additional Readings
An extremely large tree, Sequoiadendron giganteum (formerly Sequoia gigantea), in the subfamily Sequoioideae (family Cupressaceae, order Pinales). The giant sequoia (also known as Sierra redwood or bigtree) [see illustration], which is the only extant species of the genus Sequoiadendron, occupies a limited area in California and is said to be the most massive of all living things. The leaves are evergreen, scalelike, and overlapping on the branches. In height, the giant sequoia can reach 300–330 ft (90–100 m), which is a close second to the redwood, but the trunk is more massive. Sequoia trees may be 27–30 ft (8–9 m) in diameter at 10 ft (3 m) above the ground. The stump of one tree has been found to have 3400 annual rings. The red-brown bark has a thickness of 1–2 ft (0.3–0.6 m) and is spongy. Vertical grooves in the trunk give it a fluted appearance. The heartwood is dull purplish-brown and lighter and more brittle than that of the redwood. Sequoias are marketed only rarely because the loss in felling the trees is extremely great, the logs are difficult to handle, and the wood is very brittle. The wood and bark contain much tannin, which is probably the cause of the great resistance to insect and fungus attack.
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