Belfast Botanic Gardens Tree Archive

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This series of short articles about trees in the Belfast Botanic Gardens is compiled by members of the Friends group and Gardens staff. We aim to build up to a comprehensive archive of trees in Belfast Botanic Gardens. Each article illustrates a tree growing in Belfast Botanic Gardens together with information from a range of sources. Where possible we will give the tree tag number - these are the small aluminium discs, usually fixed on the tree trunk, 2 to 3m above ground level.
Sequoia sempervirens
Coastal redwood

Tag 60
54 deg 34.974N
5 deg 56.131W

There are three "redwoods" - the dawn redwood (Metasequoia), the coastal redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) and the Giant Sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum)

The coastal redwood is restricted in the wild to a small coastal strip from California to Oregon. One of the most famous locations is Muir Woods, a few km from the Golden Gate Bridge. There they grow bathed in sea-fogs during the summer; they also grow very well in the damp west of the British Isles. They grow quickly from seed. The leaves are quite similar to those of Metasequoia but unlike this genus, they are evergreen (hence the species name sempervirens - "ever-green"). The coastal redwood produces epicormic shoots which tend to form a group of young trees around the base of old trees and unlike most conifers it can coppice. The epicormic shoots also form burs on the trunk. The foresters cut these off and sell them to tourists as they can be kept alive for many months in a saucer of water. Income from tourism helps to preserve the fragile sequoia ecosystem.


Sequoia sempervirens in Belfast Botanic Gardens evergreen leaves of Squoia sempervirens
Old coastal redwood in Belfast Botanic Gardens (central tree). Fronts and backs of leaves. The leaves are not deciduous unlike those of the Dawn redwood

bands of stomata on leaf of Sequoia sempervirens

male (pollen) cone of Sequoia sempervirens

Stomata on the backs of leaves Male cone

typical red bark of Sequoia sempervirens

three redwoods in Belfast Botanic Gardens
Trunk of Coastal Redwood (tree in Castleward estate). The base of these trees typically are surrounded by shoots and young trees arising from the trunk and roots The three redwoods in the Belfast Botanic Gardens: Mg=Metasequoia, Ss= Sequoia sempervirens, Sg= Sequoiadendron giganteum

Photos taken in Belfast Botanic Gardens in 2009. Copyright: Friends of Belfast Botanic Gardens.

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