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Coniferous evergreen timber tree (Sequoia sempervirens) of the family Taxodiaceae, found in the fog belt of west-coastal North America. It grows in the coastal range from southwestern Oregon to central California at elevations up to 3,300 ft (1,000 m). The genus name commemorates the Cherokee Indian Sequoyah. The redwood is sometimes called coast redwood to distinguish it from the Sierra redwood (or big tree) and the Japanese redwood (or Japanese cedar). Redwoods are the tallest living trees, often exceeding 300 ft (90 m) in height; one has reached 368 ft (112 m). Typical trunk diameters are 10–20 ft (3–6 m) or more. The redwood tree takes 400–500 years to reach maturity; some are known to be more than 1,500 years old. As the tree ages, the lower limbs fall away, leaving a columnar trunk. Redwood timber has been used for furniture, shingles, fence posts, paneling, and fine wood objects. Today many of the remaining redwood stands are protected (seeRedwood National Park; Sequoia National Park). See alsodawn redwood.
Variants of REDWOOD
redwood or sequoia
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on redwood, visit Britannica.com.