Giant trees – Giant Redwood (Sequoiadendron giganteum)


Also called Sierra Redwood; Giant Sequoia. Introduced to Britain in 1853 under the name Wellingtonia. Belongs to the Cypress family Taxodiaceae – World's largest tree species by volume (the iconic Wawona Tunnel Tree is an example). Slightly shorter than it's closest relative, the Coast Redwood. Capable of reaching an age of 3,400 years old.

The largest example in its native California is called General Sherman (after the civil war hero), and is around 84m (276 ft) high; its trunk measures 31m (102ft) at its widest. It is around 3,200 years old. However, one source cites the Boole tree (named after Frank A Boole, superintendent of the local mill who had supervised cutting down some 2,600 acres of Sequoia forest) as the largest. However, its dimensions are given as only 82m (268ft) high and 11m (35 ft) girth.

There are thought to be at least three specimens of this type of Sequoia in Hatfield.

Giant Sequoia, Old Rectory

Giant Sequoia at the Old Rectory

Giant Sequoia at Bush Hall

Giant Sequoia at Bush Hall

Giant Sequoia at Hatfield House

Seen from French Horn Lane – thought to be a Giant Sequoia at Hatfield House. However, given the distance, it may be the Coastal species or another tall conifer like a Douglas Fir.

Spirally arranged leaves

The leaves of the Giant Sequoia are markedly different from the other Sequoias being spiky and arranged in spiral around the stem.

Flowers and cones

Both male and female flowers or cones grow on the same tree.


Close up of male cones in the image above.

immature female cones

Close up of the female cones.


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