The only surviving Redwood tree in Asia, scientifically named Sequoiadendron giganteum or Giant tree, thrives at the CSIR Yarikha Field Station in Tangmarg, Baramulla district, North Kashmir. Estimated to be 150 years old, this unique tree has earned heritage status as declared by the administration.
Qazi Parveiz, in charge of the Indian Institute of Integrated Medicine Yarikha, declared the tree, believed to be 150 years old and the lone surviving tree of its origin found in the Field Station CSIR Yarikha, as a heritage tree, said.
He said, "I came to know, in my studies, that it is at least 150 years old. We have already taken the samples of this tree to know more about it and I am presently doing scanning of the samples to learn more about the origin of the unique tree."
Sequoia tree: Quick facts
|Botanical name||Sequoiadendron giganteum|
|Common name||Coast wood, redwood, California redwood|
|Native tree||West slope of the Sierra Nevada in central California|
|Tree size||250 and 300 feet tall|
|Tree colour||Grey bark,Blue-green or grey-green leaves|
|Soil type||Deep, well-drained sandy loams.|
|Temperature||-25 to -31 degrees Celsius|
|Season||April to mid-June|
History of Sequoiadendron giganteum tree
The giant sequoias, believed to have existed for millions of years, trace their lineage to ancestors widespread across the Northern Hemisphere, though now only naturally occurring in specific North American regions.
Officially introduced in the mid-19th century by botanists Menzies and Douglas, these towering trees of the Sierra Nevada range captivated early European explorers due to their immense size. The scientific name "Sequoiadendron giganteum," given in 1939 by Buchholz, reflects their colossal nature.
Threatened by westward expansion, they found protection through conservation efforts and national parks like Sequoia and Kings Canyon. Classified as endangered due to factors like fire suppression, modern research continues to unveil their biology, ecology, and cultural significance.
Sequoia trees in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California can grow on the west-facing slope between 4,500 and 8,000 feet in height. In their natural habitat, giant sequoias live up to 3,000 years and reach heights of over 300 feet. Heights of mature trees often range from 200 to 275 feet.
When sequoias are young, they have a tall, slender trunk and a narrow, conical crown, with branches that almost completely encircle the tree. Once it reaches its maximum height, the tree starts to spread out, grow broad lateral limbs, and lose the lower branches.
The giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) has been classified as an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), with its population dwindling to less than 80,000 trees.
Standing at an average height of 50-85 m (164-279 ft) and with trunk diameters spanning 6-8 m (20-26 ft), giant sequoias are monumental organisms. The tallest trees have reached a staggering 94.8 m (311 ft). Some researchers estimate that certain giant sequoias, among Earth's oldest living beings, are between 3,200 and 3,266 years old.
However, their majestic appearance belies a brittle reality – the wood of mature giant sequoias is fibrous and fragile, leading to trees often splintering upon felling. As a result, the wood was not suitable for construction purposes and found use in creating fence posts and matchsticks. Despite this, giant sequoias have become beloved ornamental trees across the globe. The species itself is named in tribute to Sequoyah, a Cherokee Chief.
Sequoia tree: Uses
- New-leaf sequoias have high commercial and ecological value due to their rapid growth and exceptional timber.
- They harvest redwood trees for the purpose of making durable posts, poles, and pilings.
- Additionally, you can utilise it for turning musical instruments, creating veneers, constructing lumber, supporting posts, and forming beams.
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