Wellingtonia - Sequoiadendron giganteum

Alternative names
Giant Redwood, Giant Sequoia, Sequoia wellingtonia

This is a very tall, evergreen, densely foliaged, coniferous tree. It can reach 90m in height when full grown, with the trunk up to 7m in diameter. The crown is narrowly cone-shaped, with down-swept branches. All the leaves are scale-like, usually pressed against the twig and are less than 30mm long, not rigid or sharp. The cones are egg-shaped or ball-shaped, with more than 15 scales meeting edge to edge, not overlapping; the scales don't spread widely apart. Bark is very thick, fibrous and rather soft or spongy.

Similar Species

Coastal Redwood may appear similar from a distance, and also has spongy bark, but has very different foliage

Identification difficulty
ID guidance

Spongy bark. Leaves arranged spirally and spread around stem, decurrent at base with pointed tip. 

Recording advice

Photo of whole tree if possible, and individual branchlets and cones


Usually the result of historical planting in Britain.

When to see it

All year round.

Life History


UK Status

Scattered records from across Britain resulting from historical planting.

VC55 Status

Occasional in Leicestershire and Rutland. It was not recorded in the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire.

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map