Redwood trees in the UK

Originally published at: Redwood trees in the UK | Boing Boing

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If I recall, there is a lovely grove of redwoods in the Ashridge House gardens.

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TIL. Wonder how climate change will affect this.

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I have one in my garden. Assumed planted in 1900s when house was built. Presumed planted as young specimen sapling, so probably well over 120 years old. Maybe grown from seedlings imported as described here.

Ours has had the top taken out of it at least once, for safety reasons. Maybe I should go and add it to that site.

It does look like a comprehensive database but it seems to be missing a couple of the most famous locations, unless I’m failing to see something there.

ETA it does list it but not under C for Crowthorne - it is under F for Finchampstead.

Also I think there is a ‘clump’ of half a dozen or so in the gardens at Blenheim Palace, home of the Duke of WellingtonMarlborough.
The name Wellingtonia was coined as explained the link above (a UK nurseryman renamed the tree in honour of Wellington’s death) and is the name by which these are also commonly known in the UK.

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Duke of Marlborough. You’re getting your famous generals mixed up.

(Also birthplace of Winston Churchill.)

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Oops - you are entirely correct, of course, about Blenheim. But the tree was (re)named after Wellington after his death. Post corrected.

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Apologies, but some of this discussion is using the terms “Giant Sequoia” and “Giant Redwood” completely interchangeably and my pedantic nature can’t just let that go without comment.

Both are amazing trees though!

https://www.visitsequoia.com/explore/spring-summer-fall-activities/redwoods-and-sequoias

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That’s interesting. I’ve generally heard Sequoiadendron giganteum referred to as a giant redwood or giant sequoia, while Sequoia sempervirens is called coastal redwood. The former is found natively in the Sierras while the latter is found along the coast from central California to the Oregon border. I often see coastal redwoods planted in other locations, like the Central Valley of California, because there are varieties that do well in drier conditions. It’s much less common to see Sequoiadendron giganteum planted ornamentally.

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Ok, but Redwood is a sequoia, isn’t it? That article does not give the latin name of the Giant Sequoia, only the latin names of the types of Redwoods.

There are actually three types of tree that can be known by the term Redwood. The main one featured in these pages is the one known as the Giant Redwood , or Wellingtonia. Its true scientific name is Sequoiadendron giganteum . Next is the Coast Redwood , or Sequoia sempervirens . Third, is the Dawn Redwood , or Metasequoia glyptostroboides (a bit of a mouthful!) In many ways, quite different trees, but with some similarities in the first two at least.

http://www.redwoodworld.co.uk/redwood_types.htm

(The Dawn Redwood is perhaps a bit of a red herring here, being discovered in China in the 1940s)

I’ll admit that may be the appropriate nomenclature among certain groups of botanists. As a frequent visitor to King’s Canyon National Park my own knowledge comes from the signage and materials put out by the park service, which emphasizes the difference between “Sequoia” and “Redwood” in publications like this:
https://www.nps.gov/parkhistory/online_books/cook/sec2.htm

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I’m a lumberjack and i’m ok…

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I’ve always wondered about this because the both Ireland and say, Seattle have very rainy climates caused by winds coming out of the west across oceans bringing heavy loads of moisture. Washington, Oregon and northern California have temperate rain forests. Ireland just has rain. Prehistorically, Ireland was once covered by large oak trees in some areas. Not redwood large, but I would think redwoods would do well along the west coast there. A large plantation of sequoias or redwoods would be a good tourist attraction in 1,000 or 2,000 years.

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I remember seeing monkey puzzle trees around southern Ireland. These are native to the Andean slopes of Chile and Argentina.

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Monkey puzzle trees are really common in and around big houses as well as in graveyards in Cornwall. The more temperate climate in the SW means that the county has a ridiculous number of imported species in its posh garden, some more welcome than others (looking at you rhododendron).

It gets positively subtropical by the time you reach Tresco on Scilly where the Abbey Garden is well worth braving the most vomitous sea crossing in the world.

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Not exactly a “hard sell” here :face_vomiting:

I’ve seen a few specimens in Scotland–possibly at Dryburgh Abbey.

Well, large parts of Britain were probably covered with temperate rainforest - something I learned from George Monbiot - see also here.

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There are several sequoias in Tilgate Park, Crawley, towering over the dreadful American-themed restaurant Smith & Western. In the 1970s and 1980s, the restaurant was a pub and gig venue (known as “Inn in the Park” and “The Lakeside Inn), where local band The Cure played some of their earliest gigs. A forest, indeed.

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Sequoia Sempervirens used to have a range of the entire Pacific basin, and after the last ice age was only found on the Pacific coast.

Seattle has a lot of Giant Sequoias planted in Volunteer Park and the ship canal locks. Coat Redwoods are hit and miss, mainly because Red Cedar is so prevalent here, and occupies the same place in the forest that redwoods do in California.

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Nope. Ireland has temperate rainforests too. Though at this stage quite small and now in the uninhabited southwest where the population is possibly a tenth of what it was a couple of centuries ago.

http://beararainforest.com/

Britain and Ireland would have been heavily covered in rainforests before pastoralism in particular destroyed them.

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