Growing Habits of the California Redwood

The California redwood is a beautiful, large tree that is famous for its ability to grow to amazing heights. However, if you plant California redwoods in your backyard, don't expect them to grow as tall as the ancient redwoods found in coastal California forests.

Growing Conditions

Redwoods grow either in stands or mixed in with other conifers and hardwoods. River banks that are moist and flat and gently sloped provide the best habitats for redwoods. California redwood trees prefer these conditions because they have adapted well to flooding that builds up the soil level at the base of the trees. When this happens, the redwoods compensate by growing new roots higher up in the soil.

Speed of Growth

Redwood trees grow quickly in full sunlight. They can be expected to grow as much as 18 inches in the first year. After that, they grow between  2 to 6 feet each year for the next 10 years.

Redwoods tolerate shade so they do not require a lot of light. Smaller redwood trees have been known to survive on the dark forest floor for many years. The young redwood tree can grow up to 150 feet in height in just 50 years. More typically, the trees grow about 1 inch in diameter each year when growing alone in open areas.