3 years of Sequoia sempervirens, the species.

fotisrSeptember 27, 2012

Yep, this is aproximately how she looked in early spring 2010... (less than an inch tall :))

(image by Danny S. at wikimedia)

August 2011 (about 1,2 meters - 3,5 feet tall)

September 2012 (more than 2 meters - 6 feet tall)

and she will be going strong for one more month or so...

What a magnificent plant!

Best regards,


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Very cool, Fotis. Love to see species on here now and then.


    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 5:46PM
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Thank you Tom! I enjoy seeing species images occasionally as well. Mike's, Resin's... This was kind of funny post, though my sequoia is the most precious tree I've grown from seed and I've dedicated a lot of hours caring for her since germination.

Best regards,

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 7:41AM
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Oh, and don't forget the species images from Nate's trips! that's a treat! Picea engelmannii and Abies lasiocarpa, beautiful forests!


    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 7:55AM
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davidrt28 (zone 7)

I'm impressed, particularly as your climate is rather arid in summer...but I see your drip line there. OTOH, the coolish nights you have in the summer are probably to its liking. In most ways your climate at 2700 ft. is probably closer to its native range than mine...other than the fact you don't have all that summer fog. What is your typical low temp in the middle of summer - about 14C I'd guess? But the redwoods at the southern end of the range have to endure periods of heat and minimal fog at times, during the "Diablo winds" of late summer. Even the legendarily chilly Pt. Reyes has hit 90F/32C. (year's warmest day average high is 61F/15C - colder than Scotland in summer!) And contrary to popular belief they do get most of their water from their roots.
They can grow on the US east coast. However, from containers, mine seem to be taking their sweet time to get their roots in order before they really start growing. I have one I planted in spring of 2010, this year it finally made a "big move" - growing about 3'. Mind you though, there's no sign the hot summers are bothering them, and I'm not watering them.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 5:37PM
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davidrt28 (zone 7)

Just curious, do you one day expect this tree to fend for itself? (i.e., not get extra watering) What is your yearly rainfall total?

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 5:42PM
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David, thank you for this information. A discussion about Sequoia sempervirens is most interesting to me!

So my typical lows are 15-20C. Very few nights in late july I have temparatures over 20C. From my experience with 3-4 dozens of seedlings showed me that perhaps the root restriction in the pot, delays top growth. But once in the ground, they grow in very fast rates.
Due to my arid summers (especially this past summer), even with drip line I saw my Sequoia having it's branch tips withering and aiming towards the ground. A deep watering later they were all perky again. I don't say that she would die without irrigation but she would be quite stressed. Irrigation is definately required for the first year in my area. But I sense now that the root tips have spread so far out now that drip close to the trunk is useless. What I haven't told you is that near me ther are several specimen Sequoias reaching 18-20 meters now and the all seem quite happy. There even more Sequoiadendron which are thriving. Very beautiful trees more than 20m. tall. So, yes my plan is to take it off irrigation in 2-3 years and maybe some deep waterings during summer months will suffice. Here are some images of the specimens.
3 Sequoias, two older and one young in front, less than 1000 feet from my place, in a church's yard

A lonely specimen near by.

In the closest town's square there are more than 60 Sequoiadendron

One Sequoiadendron and one Sequoia growing next to each other.

As you see after some years watering isn't needed for them to thrive here.

Thank you again,

    Bookmark   September 29, 2012 at 7:14PM
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greenlarry(UK 8/9)

Wow that is fabulous!! Never realised a conifer could grow so fast!

    Bookmark   September 29, 2012 at 7:39PM
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davidrt28 (zone 7)

Interesting - thanks for the pictures of the "grown ups". Yes, as I said it makes sense that Sequoiadendron would do at least as well or better there. I was at first a little surprised your nights aren't a bit cooler at 2700ft, but then, Colfax is a similar elevation and nights are not particularly cool there because of some agricultural humidity (probably) from the central valley, and inversion layers. In fact they are a bit warmer than Sacramento, at the base of the valley.

Likewise you are surrounded by the warmish waters of the Mediterranean that are capable of building up precipitable waters in the air column - Rome can have a thunderstorm in July while Los Angeles cannot. How many days of rain do you get in July - 2 or 3? OTOH, coastal California has much chillier waters offshore, hence the very cool nights west of the Coast Ranges. The tolerance of Sequoia to warmer nights on the US East Coast (and, in your case, in Greece) almost makes one wonder if the cold California Current was always so reliable. OTOH, Sequoiadendron is native to > 5000 ft in the Sierra Nevada where nights were always cool and the summers always low in humidity. Hence their adaptation to drier climates like yours...but difficulty of cultivation south of Philadelphia.

Do most people in your town use air conditioning? It's always interesting when I'm in Europe how the weather is different north of the Alps versus south of the Alps. I think north of the Alps the norm is definitely to not have AC installed into homes - even if there is a heatwave, they suffer without it. South of the Alps, it is seen more often. For example I once took the train from Geneva to Nice. (this was in the early 90s, I don't believe any trains follow this direct route anymore...but I could be wrong) It was drizzling and cool in Geneva. Once we left Grenoble and started descending the conditions got clearer, and before arriving at Valence one could look back at the alps and see them shrouded in clouds and fog. The Mediterranean was of course clear and sunny at that time of year. (late June) I saw this more recently taking a train from Zurich to Milan. Zurich was misty and chilly - even in late August the cyclonic weather had already taken hold north of the Alps. Italy was still sunny!

    Bookmark   September 29, 2012 at 7:47PM
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Your description is quite accurate David!

No rain here in July this year and if I remember correctly one day of medium rain last year. But 2011 had heavy rains until the end of June making that spring a quite wet spring and all of my plants were happy. This summer I got a lot of south side sun scortch even in green plants that last year did not had any. Not my Sequoias and Sequoiadendrons though. As you said they are tough!

No airconditioning here! At 2700 feet the shade of the house is quite cool, even chily, at midday of the hottest days. So almost no airconditions here.

As you say, every storm heading our way comes from west and sadly almost everyone of them breaks up over northern Italy during July - August - September. The dispersed remains of the storm hit Croatia, Slovenia, maybe Albania and rarely northern Greece. Wish I had more of those...

Best regards,

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 2:00PM
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Larry, it is indeed awesome! I believe Metasequoia might be even faster with plenty of watering!

Besides conifers, I have a Pawlonia tomentosa from seed, exactly the same age of my Sequoia sempervirens. It stands now at 5,5 meters tall with a 5 inch trunk diameter!

What about that?


    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 2:06PM
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Cher(6 SW OH)

Fabulous photos Fotis. Great growth on it. The other town's photos are fantastic! Thanks for sharing.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 2:31PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Excellent progress!

And David, are you up in Colfax?
If so, I'm on the other side of the Bear River, in Lake of the Pines.


    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 7:19PM
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gardener365(5b Illinois USA)

Those are rad photos- fotisr! #3 is da bomb.


    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 7:01AM
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davidrt28 (zone 7)

Nope Greenman, I live near the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. I was just using Colfax as a representation of a of "medium elevation, continental-Mediterranean climate" mountain town in California. Seems like it's probably fairly similar to the area where Fotis lives.
What I'm wondering is whether there are many Greek towns that are >= 6000 ft. in the mountains, like Lake Tahoe:
St. Moritz in the Alps is roughly that high, but is much, much chillier in the summer. (and in winter, for that matter) I would expect a town in Greece at 6000' to be somewhat between the 2 in temperatures.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 9:34AM
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Thank you Cher, Josh and Daxman!

David, towns in Greece over 6000ft? No I don't think there are any. Maybe some small villages but surely not enough meteorological data there. If you go at the northern borders, you have considerably lower winter tempratures, reaching -22C so Sequoias there are banned. Sequoiadendrons would do great though.

You know that the southern natural habitat of Picea abies resides within northern Greece at mountain 'Kara dere' which in turkish means black mountain. This is a wet, cool and icy place I plan to visit next summer but as it is underdeveloped (aka still natural!) I don't expect to see cultivated Sequoiadendrons there.

Best regards,

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 5:50AM
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Oh, and if you'd like to see an early March image of my baby, here it is!!!

Heart stopping!
Some green was visible everywhere under the brown needles so I knew it was ok but until I saw that I needed new underwear. Notice what was left from the ice protection cloth I used. Severe winds. Pay no attention to the stake. It was then replaced by a 6,5feet stake, waiting for the explosive growth.

Best regards,

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 6:00AM
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davidrt28 (zone 7)

I'm a bit confused, that's your Sequoia? Wow! I'm amazed it recovered!
My Sequoia 'Soquel' has only seen 11F/-11.6C so far, but was completely undamaged by that. Mike Dirr for some reasons lists that cultivar as zn 6 hardy. A famous PNW plantsman's response to that was: "No, that's not possible. He's been outside of Georgia, what, 5 times in his life?" LOL. But, I thought it was a good one to try in my garden, along with 'Swarthmore Hardy'- whose origins are somewhat mysterious, as Andrew Bunting denied introducing it, and he's the only one who should really be able to sign off on that name. The oldest Sequoia north of Williamsburg, VA is actually at the Barnes foundation. The next time I'm in the DC area I'm going to try to find a 50 footer that is allegedly somewhere in Silver Spring, MD.

As I've posted before, I will grant the east coast Sequoia skeptics this: no plant predates the 1930s, as the William and Mary trees were planted in the 1950s, and none of the 5 or 6 trees planted at various Philadelphia area arboreta in the early part of the 20th century seem to have lasted 100 years. What I wonder though, is if the current clones at Barnes and Swarthmore are related, or were clones of the one tree that is known to have survived the 1930s until at least the 40s. Not sure what killed the other 4, the 1930s had it all: heat, drought, and massive cold outbreaks.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 7:38AM
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Found a nice of Picea abies in northern Greece


    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 7:04PM
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Wow. Yes, that is nice. I've been consistently challenged by posts on here and 'Trees' regarding what types of forests grow where. I'd not have formerly considered such stands to be a part of the Grecian landscape.


    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 9:00PM
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David that's the same plant! It colored nicely in one week and the next time I visited my garden it was almost green. The awesome part is that it barely lost a branch or a branchlet. Almost all survived!

Resin that's why I want to go! Never seen before such thing up close (maybe spot a broom or two for Edwin to propagate! :)) This place is at the northern borders with Bulgaria. Now most of it is a protected forest. Not even hiking allowed.

Tom here is some more.

Best regards,

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 2:56AM
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coniferjoy(z7 The Netherlands)

Yep, Fotis, you've to go there for a recon trip and find a couple of brooms over there ;0)

Is that tomato juce in that little stream?

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 7:02AM
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Simply spectacular for a Picea abies lover such as myself!

Is the water coloration due to tannins perchance? There's waterways in N. Wisconsin that look almost like that.


    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 11:06AM
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