Coastal Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens)

Taxodium sempervirens
Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Coastal Redwood
Sequoia sempervirens

A brown dye is obtained from the bark[168]. The bark and the wood contain tannin, but in too low a concentration for economic utilization[223]. On a 10% moisture basis, the bark contains 4.4% tannin and the wood 2.5%[223].

The sprouts from the burls have been used in making baskets[257].

The plant develops a thick covering of a soft and fibrous bark (you can punch it hard without hurting your hand). This can be harvested without harm to the tree and used as an insulating or stuffing material[171]. A fine bark dust that is produced whilst doing this is a good soil conditioner[171]. This fibrous bark is also used for making paper. Branches can be harvested at any time of the year from logged trees, the bark is cut into useable pieces and soaked in clear water prior to cooking for 6 or more hours with lye. The fibres are beaten for six hours in a ball mill and the paper is a brown colour[189].

Wood – straight-grained, knot-free, light, soft, not strong, very durable in contact with the soil. A high quality and easily worked lumber, it is used for joinery, fence posts, construction etc[1, 11, 46, 61, 82, 171, 229].

  • Medicinal Use

    A poultice of the heated leaves has been used in the treatment of earaches[257].

    The gummy sap has been used as a stimulant and tonic in the treatment of rundown conditions[257].

  • Edible Use

    None known

  • Cautionary Notes

    None known

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – sow early spring in a cold frame in light shade. Seed can also be sown as soon as it is ripe in a greenhouse. Germination rates are usually very low[11]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots once they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter, planting them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer. Plants will require some protection from the cold and spring frosts for their first year or two outdoors[78]. If there are sufficient seeds, they can be sown in a lightly shaded outdoor bed in late March[78]. Grow on the plants in the seedbed for two years before planting them out into their permanent positions in late autumn or early spring. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, August/September in a frame. They form roots in winter or early spring[1]. Pot them up into individual pots once the roots are developing nicely and plant them out in the summer if they are growing well. Otherwise grow them on for the next winter in a cold frame and plant them out in early summer.
Requires a rich moist soil[1], growing best in deep sheltered valleys in cool humid areas[81, 200]. Dislikes chalky soils according to one report[1] whilst another says that it succeeds on chalk[200]. Tolerates poorly drained sites[200]. Tolerates partial shade for many years when young[200]. Strongly dislikes windy sites, especially if the winds are cold[200]. Plants dislike atmospheric pollution, growing poorly in cities[185]. Plants are fully hardy in Britain, though they may lose their leaves in cold winters. This seems to have no detrimental effect on the tree[188]. The giant redwood is probably the tallest growing tree in the world[11, 81], it thrives in Britain, especially in the cooler moister western half of the country[11]. It is fast growing in cultivation[81], reaching 25 metres tall in 20 years in a good site[200], and can be successfully coppiced even when quite old[11, 81, 200]. It is a long-lived tree in the wild, often living 1000 years and with some specimens 2200 years old recorded[229]. Plants are tender when young[11]. If trees larger than 80cm are planted out, they should be coppiced in order to allow the roots to become established[200]. Male cones shed their pollen in February unless delayed by frost when they might wait until April. Frost just before flowering or at the time of flowering kills the pollen[185]. New growth takes place from May until the end of September and can be very vigorous, 1.2 metres a year is not uncommon and this can be maintained for 30 years or more[185]. The best trees are found in Devon, Wiltshire, Perthshire and Ireland[185]. The crushed foliage has the scent of candle wax[185].
South-western N. America – Oregon to California.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.