50. GIANT SEQUOIA
A Giant Sequoia in Westmoor Park, in CT? Yes. As part of the Arboretum's study and outreach programs, the planting is a key part of our mission statement to explore new species, particularly native U.S. species such as the western Giant Sequoia. Two Sequoias were planted by Douglas Jackson in 2014 and are monitored closely. There are only two species of Sequoia: Sequoiadendrom giganteum (this one) that is located on the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountains, and Sequoia sempervirens -the Redwoods of the coastal rainforests of CA.
There is another very closely related species in the Arboretum, Metasequoia, the Dawn Redwood.
The mythical Redwoods of the coastal rainforests of California (Sequoia sempervirens) simply could not live in our CT climate. They are plants of a cloud rainforest - a unique and fascinating ecosystem. These are the interior Sequoias, adaptable to less water once established. Still, it is a see-saw to provide enough water to get the tree through the first two decades. It becomes more drought tolerant with age, and the Arboretum is more than halfway to the twenty year mark.
Like most conifers, new growth presents in different ways. The new foliage on Giant Sequoia is bluish-green in color in Spring. It quickly changes over the summer to the deeper green color of the Sequoia found on the rest of the tree.