Coastal Redwoods versus the Giant Sequoias

The Giant Sequoias (Sequoiadendron Gigantean) of the Sierra Nevada

The Sierra Nevada is home to 75 amazing groves of Giant Sequoias nestled in the Western Slope of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. These Groves of Giant Sequoias are found in Sequoia National Park , Kings Canyon , and in the Yosemite national park. Its scientific name is Sequoiadendron gigantean.

There are only three major groves of Giant Sequoias within the Yosemite National Park: The Mariposa grove, Merced , and Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias. These giant trees were named after the Cherokee Indian Chief known as “Sequoyah”.

The Giant Redwoods are different from their sisters (Giant Sequoias), they grow on lower elevation along California Pacific Ocean. California Coastal Redwoods naturally grow only in a narrow strip along the Pacific Coast between Big Sur Country and South of Oregon. 

Redwood National Park  in Northern  California is home to some of the world’s largest trees. The tallest redwoods tower nearly 370 feet. Among them is the so-called “Big Tree,” which has a 68-foot circumference and is estimated to be 1,500 years old.

Travel to Norther California and discover the Kingdom of the Giant Redwood Trees at the Redwood National Park –  see majestic and ancient forests of redwood trees that many visitors are unaware of! Because of the remoteness of this tranquil and beautiful place, few visitors even know about this natural wonder or dare to venture so far north. 

Did you know that certain scenes in the movies ‘Lost World in Jurassic Park’ and ‘Star Wars’ Return of the Jedi’ were filmed at the Redwood National Park? The location scouts for these movies fell in love with the natural landscape and the ambiance of timeless and utter peace of the park and were sure to include it in these movies. 

Today, you can only see these giant trees in the northern parts and when you are there,  you will be able to experience the surrounding ancient and pristine vegetation and wildlife as well.

See our comparison diagram below between the Sierra Giant Sequoias and the Coastal Redwoods:

redwood illustrationredwood illustration
Coastal Redwoods Diagram Comparison Giant Sequoias
Factors of comparison
Sequoia sempervirens/coast redwoods(cypress family or  Cupressaceae)

Scientific name

Sequoiadendron giganteum Giant Sequoias (cypress family or  Cupressaceae)
sempervirens — from the Latin meaning “always green”
Species Name
Sequoia – from the Cherokee Indian chief Sequoyah
the tallest living tree on earth up to 370ft
the largest living tree on earth up to 40 ft L.
Alluvial soils on flats and benches, stands in  dense forest requires moisture and  fog.

In Granatic and rocky soil in scattered coniferous groves  in the Western slope of California.

In narrow strip along the pacific coast from s. Oregon down to Monterey County. Grew by the sea level up to750 ft
Range & Elevation

Sierra  Nevada between 4500 to 7500 feet high

Up to 2,2000 years
To 3,200 years
Up to  1.7 million lbs
Up to 2.8 million lbs.
200 to 370 ft (Redwood N.P.)
150 to 300 feet
(23 ft) diameter at base
Circumference at Ground
10 to 25 ft
Maximum Diameter at Base
Up to 38 ft. diameter
Fibrous reddish-brown

Tree trunk

Fibrous reddish-brown very wide
12 in, Spongy, fibrous with a bright red-brown. Thanks to its thick bar it resists fire
Thicker up to  33 in. spongy . Thanks to its thick bar it resists fire
Tinny elliptical, reddish-brown Hanging down at end of leafy twig. maturing in 1 season

Shape and  size

Unlike male cone, female cones have 1-20 ovules on each scale, measure  0.4 – 6 cm long with an oval shape,  maturing in 2 seasons
9 to 75 ft
Height of First Large Branch above the Base
130 to 140 ft high
Each cone scale bears 3-7 seeds, each seed 3-4 mm long and  0.5 mm broad, with 2 wings 1 mm wide. The seeds are released when the cone scales dry out and open at maturity.
Seed Size
2-5 seeds under cone scale light brown,2-winged. As large as grape  seeds, So small that it takes 91.000 seeds to equal 1 pound
1 – 3.50  ft
Diameter of Largest Branch
6.8  to 8 ft. diameter larger than anyone Sq.tree
9 to 75 ft
Height of First Large Branch above the Base
130 to 140 ft high
By seed or root sprout
By seed only. seeds eaten by squirrels& birds
2 types of Evergreen :needle & unequal (10-20 mm) flat, stiff  and sharp-pointed spreading in 2 rows

Evergreen crowded and  overlapping(3-7mm)

Conditions to germinate

Shallow roots: 6  to  12 feet deep
Spread  out  up to 150 fee

Root system
Shallow roots:  8 to   14 deep  Spread out 50 to 90 fee
redwood illustrationredwood illustration
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