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How to Care for Sequoia Trees

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How to Care for Sequoia Trees

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Overview

Sequoia trees, also called coastal redwoods, are majestic coniferous evergreens. Sequoia sempervirens is the only living species of sequoia left on the earth, and they are the tallest trees in the world, according to information published by Stanford University. Although these giant trees can reach over 300 feet in height, they are usually much smaller when grown in a home landscape, and can be pruned to control size. Sequoias are fast-growing and hardy when planted in the right conditions and with proper care.

Step 1

Plant sequoia trees at least 15 feet from each other, especially if planting for screening purposes, writes Edward F. Gilman, a horticulturist with the University of Florida. In Oregon and northern California, these trees are best planted as standalone specimens, as they will grow quickly in their natural habitat.

Step 2

Choose a location that receives bright sunlight. If you live in a hot climate, however, plant your sequoia where it will receive morning sun followed by afternoon shade, as young trees may be scorched by direct sunlight. These trees grow best in United States Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 7 through 10A.

Step 3

Water frequently, but not so often that the soil is continually soggy. The small feeder roots of the sequoia are fragile and will easily rot in too-wet conditions. In fact, even walking on the ground around a sequoia can damage the roots, especially in the case of young trees, according to information published by the Giant Sequoia Redwood Landscape Tree and Bonsai Nursery. Let the soil dry out a bit before watering again. Test the dryness of the soil by inserting a finger down to the top of the first root you encounter. You can also use a stick. If it is dry to the root, go ahead and water. Because this tree drinks very rapidly and deeply, this could still signify almost daily watering during hot spells.

Step 4

Fertilize your sequoia with redwood fertilizer. This is available in some garden centers in Oregon and California. Otherwise, you can find it online. Apply according to the directions on the label as per the size and age of your tree.

Step 5

Prune off dead limbs as needed, taking care not to damage the bark of the tree. Rake away debris out to the edge of the canopy crown to prevent fungi and insect pests from developing in the soil under the tree.

Things You'll Need

  • Watering tool
  • Stick (optional)
  • Sequoia fertilizer

References

  • Stanford University: Sequoia Sempervirens
  • Giant Sequoia Redwood Landscape Tree and Bonsai Nursery: Giant Sequoia Landscape Questions
  • University of Florida: Sequoia Semervirens

Who Can Help

  • National Arboretum: USDA Interactive Hardiness Zone Map
Keywords: sequoia tree care, Sequoia sempervirens, growing redwood trees

About this Author

April Sanders has been a professional writer since 1998. Previously, she worked as an educator and currently writes academic research content for EBSCO publishing and elementary reading curriculum for Compass Publishing. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in social psychology from the University of Washington and a master's degree in information sciences and technology in education from Mansfield University.