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Redwood (Sequoia)


  • Needles are shaped like a double-edged sword, and occur in a flat plane.
  • They are typically about 1/2-1" long and are green on top (although sometimes with white lines) with distinct white bands below.
  • Fruits are small woody cones about 1" long, made up of thick, wrinkled scales. Mature cones are brown and scales can be moved easily with finger pressure.
  • Bark is reddish-brown, thick, fibrous, and deeply furrowed.




Redwoods have an interesting taxonomic history. Although several species of redwood (Sequoia) once spread across the globe, long-term climate changes have reduced their numbers and their range. Now, only one species exists, Sequoia sempervirens, and it occupies a narrow band along the west coast of North America, from southwestern Oregon to Monterey, California.

Two other trees are commonly confused with redwoods, but each is a separate genus: giant sequoia, Sequoiadendron, and dawn redwood, Metasequoia. Prior to the formation of the Cascades, when the Pacific Northwest's climate was warmer and wetter, all three "redwoods" grew here. Now, giant sequoia grows naturally only in California, while dawn redwood is native to China. As with redwood, each of these trees has been widely planted outside its native range.

species pageFor more information on the redwood native to the Pacific Northwest, go to the species page or see "Trees to Know in Oregon".

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