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Giant Sequoia Note Card



Giant Sequoia

Sequoiadendron giganteum


It is innately human to experience an inner sense of stirring when finding oneself in the company of  giant sequoias.  The magnitude of a giant sequoia is palpable as one’s sense of self is suddenly shrunken by their vastness.  Many giant sequoias are 20 to 26 feet in diameter and over 250 feet tall.  Among the oldest beings in existence, living to more than 3,000 years, the sequoias coexisted with dinosaurs and some still standing today were already ancient when the likes of Columbus first brought news of America’s splendor back to the Old World.  At a comfortable human eye-level, sequoias seem to welcome the beholder with their often buttressed trunks of strikingly soft, cinnamon red, fibrous and furrowed bark.  This most magnificent of evergreens is a powerful, wise and gentle giant.


Giant Sequoias are evergreen conifers in the Cyprus family with scale-like needles and small 2-3 inch egg shaped cones. Sequoias only occur naturally in about 70 small groves along the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada range in California.  The “General Sherman” tree, which stands in the Giant Forest of Sequoia National Park, is the biggest among all sequoias with a base circumference of 102.6 feet and is considered the largest tree in the world.  Sequoias are often confused with their close relative the coastal redwood (Sequoia sempervirens). While coastal redwood trees are the tallest, sequoias are the largest living beings by volume.  Sequoias have a tremendous resistance to pests and fire due to the texture and make-up of their bark. They are not only prone to lightning strikes but also require the heat of lightning or forest fires to crack open their small cones to drop their seeds.


Energetically, the giant sequoia is simultaneously soothing and stimulating as it conveys an ancient stillness and potent majesty. The spirit of the sequoia can teach humans to see new perspectives. The size and age of these sagacious beings reminds us of our dance with the mysteries of time and consequence.


artwork by Camille Doucet © 2015


text by Nicole Costa