Native to a restricted range in the Sierra Nevada mountains of central California.
Widely planted as a specimen tree in Britain but there are few forest plots; seed should be sourced from the Native range.
This is a shade intolerant species which can make rapid early growth and produce high volumes on suitable sites. Naturally occurs in a humid climate with dry summers and appears somewhat more cold tolerant than coast redwood and it is more tolerant of drought and exposure than that species. Best growth is on poor to medium soils of slightly dry to fresh soil moisture status such as acid sandy loams. Is not suited to heavier gleys, peats or very poor dry soils. Plantation stands are reported to produce timber of similar quality to coast redwood.
Pests and pathogens
Susceptible to Armillaria (honey fungus) and Heterobasidion (Fomes root and butt rot) as a cause of decay in the heartwood of living trees. Although both species can be serious root pathogens they generally do not kill trees directly, but cause root or stem failure.
A species that could be grown more widely throughout Britain with climate warming, on suitable soils in areas with adequate but not excessive rainfall (e.g. 800-1750 mm rainfall).