Coast redwood - Sequoia sempervirens
Mindbogglingly tall and majestic, the beautiful redwood was logged heavily and can now only be found in reserves across California and just across the border in Oregon. It can grow to 115m in height and can live for hundreds of years - the oldest known tree is about 2,200 years old!
The oldest specimen at Bedgebury is a baby by comparison and was planted in 1925 by the former boardwalk, although there are others dotted across the site. A number of new trees were gifted to Bedgebury after the 1987 storm. A newly planted avenue of these magnificent giants runs from Dove Ridge (the path parallel with the Cherry Tree Walk) to the children’s play area. While not exactly breathtaking now, come back in a couple of hundred years to see them in splendour.
The first trees planted in this new avenue were grown from seed collected in the autumn of 2007 when Dan Luscombe, the then Pinetum dendrologist, Julian Dormady, the Pinetum Supervisor, and a member of staff from Wakehurst Place and Kew Millennium Seed Bank, went to California and Oregon to collect from across the region in a bid to maintain diversity.
In Star Wars – Return of the Jedi – the speeder bikes sequence among the trees on Endor was filmed in the redwood forests of northern California.