The Giant Sequoia stands in a significant trio of ‘exotics’ down by the Railway Line with a Blue Atlas Cedar and a Cedar of Lebanon. The work on the railway line through Sydney Gardens began in 1839 and it is believed that when re-landscaping of the surrounding area of the gardens took place, new species were planted. The Giant Sequoia was bought to Britain around 1853 and this tree is thought to be one of the early trees planted in the England making it over 160 years old.
The installation of railway virtually cut the gardens in half, caused the loss of various features in Sydney Gardens which included a tearoom, the labyrinth and a Castle. The installation of the railway also necessitated the building of two new bridges to connect the footpaths in the gardens.
The Giant Sequoia is the only living species of Sequoiadendron giganteum. Sequoia is native to the Pacific North West of America, California. Recorded at heights of over 91 m and ages over 3500 years. The tree carries the generic name of Sequioadendron after Sequoyah, an educator and significant person in the Cherokee Nation.
The Sequoia characteristic fibrous, spongy bark is bright reddish brown in colour and can be up to 75cm thick. In its natural habitat, in the USA this fibrous bark protects the tree against the frequent forest fires.The Giant Sequoias regenerates by seed. The seed cones are 4-7cm long and mature in 18-20 months, but the seeds can remain inside the green closed cone for up to 20 years. A cone can produce around 230 seeds, which are dark brown in colour, 4-5mm long with side wings. Young trees start to bear cones at around the age of 12 years.
Gazzard, G. A. MSc (2021) wrote the above article with information from the following sources.
Rose, B. BSc (Hons) MSc DipArb(RFS) MICFor RCArborA Chartered Arboriculturist Arboricultural Association Registered Consultant (2020). Bosky Trees, Arboricultural Impact Assessment & Tree Protection Plan for trees at Sydney Gardens, Bath. (Accessed 13/03/21).
White, R. S. PhD (2020). Sydney Gardens: a self-guided walking tour reflecting on botany, empire, reluctant heritage and deep time. (Accessed 13/03/21). Available at:
National Trust. How the Giant Sequoia came to England. (Accessed 13/03/21). Available at:
Wikipedia; Giant Sequoia. (Accessed 13/03/21). Available at:
The Royal Forestry Society. Redwoods and Red Cedar, Quarterly Journal of Forestry. October 2016. Vol 110 No. 4. (Accessed 13/03/21). Available at: