Wellingtonia is closely related to the famous Redwood trees of the Sierra Nevada mountains in California. Introduced to the UK in 1853, Wellingtonia has mostly been planted for ornamental reasons due to the perception of poor timber quality although this seems to be contradicted by recent findings.
Wellingtonia has a wider climatic range than Redwoods and should grow on most soils other than heavy peaty soils. It particularly suited to sandy loams and is considered to be windfirm. Although more frost tolerant than Coastal Redwoods, Wellingtonia should still be sited with care.
Although it may be a slow starter in the first couple of years, Wellingtonia trees will grow rapidly in the first decade of growth before slowing. Expect the needles to discolour in poor light as it is less shade tolerant than Redwoods.
Due to its limited use in UK forestry, little research has been conducted into identifying the best provenance choice and Alba is currently following the latest Forest Research advice by sourcing seed from the Native Range. Our Seed Manager is investigating alternatives in consultation with the latest scientific advice.
Ornamentally, Wellingtonia is grown primarily for the thick spongy bark protects the tree’s living tissue from the frequent forest fires that occur in its home range.