Conifer Trees: Sequoia
There is only one species represented in this genus which is well known as the “Californian Redwood”. This species S. sempervirens cannot in any way be considered a garden cultivar on account of its ultimate size, but no book on conifers could be written without it and besides it has given one or two interesting garden forms.
Large tree. After ten years: 5-7m. Ultimate Height: 70-100m.
The “Californian Redwood” has in its native area, the Pacific side of the Rocky Mountains, reached over 100m. But it is not likely to achieve that height in Great Britain. It was introduced in Britain in 1840 and the tallest tree is now measured at 40m. or so. It makes a stout trunk covered with spongy reddish-brown bark. The shape of the tree is pyramidal with drooping branches. The leaves are dark green above, whitish on the under surface. The Californian Redwood is often confused in peoples minds with Sequoiadendron giganteum, the “Mammoth Tree”, or “Wellingtonia” as it used to be called, but the difference is quite evident from the photographs. Both are certainly too large for all but woodland areas or where large spaces are available.
Sequoia sempervirens ‘Adpressa’
Dwarf – Medium Tree. After ten years: 1-2m. Ultimate Height: 5-10m.
This cultivar would appear to be botanically identical to S. s. ‘Albospica’ although the latter is usually looked upon as a medium sized tree. It is however, very slow growing for some years, and if any tendency to throw up strong leader growth is regularly checked it makes an attractive dense bush with its many growing tips of creamy-white. No damage will be done to the plant by hard pruning as S. sempervirens and its cultivars have the ability to break strongly from old wood. Treated thus S. s. ‘Adpressa’ is one of the most beautiful of dwarf conifers during the summer months, but if allowed to grow unchecked it will become a medium sized, somewhat untidy tree, often many stemmed and the particular attraction of the plant will be lost.