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.
|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|
|Stomata on the backs of leaves||Male cone|
|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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