Is the tree called a Sequoia or Redwood?

The names Sequoia and Redwood are often mixed up. This is not surprising as the names are used interchangeably. Actually both names are just a part of the full name of the last two living species of the family “Sequoioideae”. These two species are:

  • The Giant Sequoia, also called Giant Redwood, Sierra Redwood, Wellingtonia or Sequoiadendron giganteum.
  • The Coastal Redwood, also called Coast Sequoia, Coast Redwood, Coastal Sequoia, Californian Redwood or Sequoia sempervirens.

The confusion is therefore very understandable.

A rule of thumb is that when the name Sequoia is used, it generally refers to the Giant Sequoia and when the name Redwood is used it generally refers to the Coastal Redwood. But unfortunately this is not always the case.

To avoid misunderstandings we use the names Giant Sequoia and Coastal Redwood ourselves to distinguish these two species of trees. Our experience is that it leads to the least confusion.

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