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Giant Sequoia

Scientific Name:

Sequoiadendron giganteum




Moist, Sierra Nevada forests


Western Sierra Nevada mountains between 4,500 and 7,000 feet in elevation


Endangered (IUCN Red List)

This species is


to the Truckee Meadows.


Giant sequoias are the largest trees on earth, and have short, scale-like needles. Their ones are small, only 2 to 3 inches long. Sequoia bark is reddish-brown, stringy, and very thick. While giant sequoias cultivated and planted in urban places like Reno don't grow any larger than other trees, in their native range sequoias can grow up to 300 feet tall and have diameters well over 30 feet in size.

Fast Facts:

  • The most massive tree in the world, based on volume, is the General Sherman tree located in Sequoia National Park. The second most massive tree, General Grant tree, is located nearby in Kings Canyon National Park.

  • The native range of giant sequoias is limited to about 75 groves scattered on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in central California.

  • Giant sequoias need fire to establish and grow. Fires open up the cones to drop the seeds and clear away debris on the forest floor to allow seeds to sprout.

  • Giant sequoias are one of three remaining species of the once-widespread redwood trees. Coast redwoods, the tallest trees in the world, are found on the Pacific coast of northern California and southern Oregon. Dawn redwoods, smaller deciduous redwoods, live in China.

  • There are a handful of cultivated and planted giant sequoias in Reno, one of which can be found in Idlewild Park.



Haley McGuire (research & content)

Alex Shahbazi (edits & page design)

Last Updated:

July 12, 2021 at 10:26:17 PM

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