James E Eckenwalder. The giant sequoia was first brought into cultivation in Britain in 1853 by the horticulturist Patrick Matthew of Perthshire from seeds sent by his botanist son John in California. The next European to see the species was John M. Wooster, who carved his initials in the bark of the 'Hercules' tree in the Calaveras Grove in 1850; again, this received no publicity. Talismans worn about the neck are excellent for this. Pictures of the once majestic trees broken and abandoned in formerly pristine groves, and the thought of the giants put to such modest use, spurred the public outcry that caused most of the groves to be preserved as protected land. One young tree in Italy reached 22 m (72 ft) tall and 88 cm (2.89 ft) trunk diameter in 17 years (Mitchell, 1972). A large tree may have as many as 11,000 cones. Black Mountain Grove is home to over 150 giant sequoias, some of which stand over 6.1 m (20 ft) tall. The sequoia’s wood, practically off the market in present day, is brittle, various in grain, and rose-purple to white in color.  Specimens also grow in the Arnold Arboretum in Boston, Massachusetts (planted 1972, 18 m tall in 1998), at Longwood Gardens near Wilmington, Delaware, in the New Jersey State Botanical Garden at Skylands in Ringwood State Park, Ringwood, New Jersey, and in the Finger Lakes region of New York. The subsequent release of large quantities of seeds coincides with the optimal postfire seedbed conditions. One of these untamed burns severely damaged the second-largest tree in the world, the Washington tree, in September 2003, 45 days after the fire started. In the first several hundred years in open territory, branches will reach nearly to the ground. More commonly they grow 250 foot tall and 15 to 20 foot in diameter at 1000 years old. Many Light Workers and sensitives who walk these groves feel the sacredness from the roots below to the towering evergreens overhead. When birch is burned it aids concentration and uplifts the spirit. When it fell, the Wawona Tree was approximately 2,100 years old, 234 feet high (71.3 meters), and 26 feet in diameter at the base (7.9 meters). Its long life is in some measure owed to its resistance to disease and fungus. The only extant species of the genus is Sequoia sempervirens in the Northern California coastal forests ecoregion of Northern California and Southwestern Oregon in the United States.  Comparisons among fossils and modern organisms suggest that by this period Sequoia ancestors had already evolved a greater tracheid diameter that allowed it to reach the great heights characteristic of the modern Sequoia sempervirens (coast redwood) and Sequoiadendron giganteum (giant sequoia).
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