A shot of the famous Sequoia Boulevard in Benmore Gardens, framed by yellow Autumn leaves. Photo Credit: ClickAndPray Photography via Getty Images

Environment United Kingdom9. April 2024

World’s Tallest Trees Thrive in Their “New” Home

For more than 150 years, the United Kingdom has become a fertile ground for redwoods, the world’s tallest trees, to grow in, now outnumbering the ones by six-fold in their native range of California, the United States.

“Half a million [redwoods] is quite a lot to go under the radar until now, but it’s when you start looking for them in the landscape and compiling these datasets that you realize how many there are,” explains Dr. Phil Wilkes, one of the authors of the study, from Kew’s botanic garden.

Giant redwoods – Sequiadendron giganteum, also known as giant sequoias – make up most of the 500,000 redwoods found in the UK, and the two other species are coastal redwoods and dawn redwoods. In comparison, there are some 80,000 mature giant redwoods in Californian forests. The tallest growing on English soil is 54.87 m high, but it still has plenty of time to grow since it was first brought 160 years ago. In California, the tallest giant sequoias reach 90m high, given that they have lived in the mountains of Sierra Nevada for more than 2,000 years. The dense, cone-shaped crown-imposing trees could have found the perfect soil to thrive in since they are under threats of hotter and drier weather in California, which is instrumental to intense wildfires.


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