Botanically called sequoiadendron giganteum, a giant sequoia tree is an evergreen that grows up to 275 feet tall and has a trunk diameter of up to 40 feet. These majestic trees that dress up a spot with their blue-green needles and deep brown trunks are known to have a lifespan of more than 1,700 years. Plant a sequoia tree in your backyard if you have space for a tree with a spread of more than 30 feet so it stands out against the landscape and you enjoy the shade on a hot summer day.
Select a site in your backyard that receives full sun to partial shade and has well-drained soil. Place a sample of your soil in a container and send it to your local garden center for a pH test. Sequoia trees require a pH level of 4.5 to 6.5.
Loosen compacted soil with a shovel or pitchfork to a depth of 6 inches to break it up into manageable pieces and aerate it. Add a layer of lime to raise pH level, or sulfur to lower it. Turn it with a shovel again to ensure the soil conditioners go deep into the soil, and spread a 3- to 4-inch layer of compost over it. Mix well and water lightly with a watering can.
Dig a hole in the ground twice as wide as the root ball of the sequoia sapling but equally deep. Carefully remove the burlap or nursery covering from the root ball and lower it into the hole.
Backfill the hole with dirt and tamp it down to remove any air bubbles. Spread a 4- to 5-inch thick layer of mulch around the sapling to help retain moisture and prevent competing weeds from growing there.
Water the ground around the sapling until the soil is evenly moist. Do not douse the seedling with water, as over-watering is as harmful as under-watering.