The roots of the sequoia - unearthly proportions underground

The roots of the sequoia - unearthly proportions underground

Growth of the roots of the sequoia tree

The sequoia is a heart root. The name comes from the way the sequoia roots grow. A heart shape would be recognizable in cross section. With this type of root system, the roots develop in all directions. They are of different strength. The thick roots do not necessarily have to grow into the earth, but can also spread horizontally just below the surface of the earth.

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Expansion of the roots of the sequoia tree

This is precisely the case with the genus Sequoia. Its roots reach a maximum of one meter into the earth. The larger is its extent in width. The underground root system can cover a full 30 meters, which roughly corresponds to an area of ​​0.3 hectares. The substructure accordingly extends far beyond the dimensions of the crown.

Different root types

With regard to the growth and strength of the roots of a sequoia tree, a distinction is made between:

  • the radicle (radicula)
  • Taproots
  • and lateral roots


Only in rare cases, such as a few specimens in Central Europe, does the sequoia form tap roots that extend up to 1.80 meters deep. This type of root, which develops from the radicle, i.e. the main root, typically shows vertical growth. Further side roots emerge from the tap root.

Symbiosis with mushrooms

Experience shows that the coastal redwood forms a symbiosis with different types of fungus. One speaks here of mycorrhizal symbioses. These mushrooms bind to the fine roots and are completely harmless. After all, both living beings always benefit from a symbiosis.

Shallow roots - curse or blessing?

You shouldn't worry that your Sequoia is suffering from an insufficient supply of nutrients due to the shallow roots. Applying fertilizer twice a year already covers the need. On the other hand, storms are a real problem. It is not uncommon for uprooted tribes to be found in American national parks. At this sight, one first becomes aware of the dimensions the sequoia takes underground.