Sequoiadendron giganteum 'Pendulum' at Roath Park Botanic Garden

Sequoiadendron giganteum 'Pendulum' 0

Sequoiadendron giganteum 'Pendulum'
January 2015

Grid reference ST 18595 78943
Common name Weeping sequoia
Origin USA California
Deciduous No
Status Rare
Status Glamorgan Champion 2013
Marked on 1947 chart of Pinetum
Girth 200cm January 2015
Reference 39

This tree can be seen beside the main path leading from the south east entrance, near the Conservatory. In 1964 the Director of Parks, William Nelmes senior, described it as rare in the British Isles, and wrote that the very few examples he had seen "are upright with short and very pendulous side branches..." With respect to the Roath Park tree he said that "about 20 years ago the leading shoot was broken and soon afterwards two side-growths grew upright from the main trunk."[1]

As the tree presented such a strange appearance Nelmes suggested that this could be the ugliest tree in Britain.

In the 1980s a lorry delivering tarmacadam accidentally damaged this tree again when the paths in the park were being repaired.[2] A support was provided in 1989. In 1994 it was struck by a high vehicle and severely damaged. The split trunk was then secured by four heavy bolts, with a new wooden support lifting the tree to 13ft. In 1999 Terry Davies wrote "The new support has given it a new lease on life, it's become very vigorous and several tall vertical stems are lending this monstrosity even further distinction."[3]

Sequoiadendron giganteum 'Pendulum' bark

Sequoiadendron giganteum 'Pendulum' bark
February 2015

Sequoiadendron giganteum 'Pendulum' bark2

Sequoiadendron giganteum 'Pendulum' bark
July 2015

Sequoiadendron giganteum 'Pendulum' foliage

Sequoiadendron giganteum 'Pendulum' foliage
mid June 2015

General tree description

This conifer typically has a main trunk that grows upright but as it ages will dip and create unusual irregular shapes. It can grow to a height of around 15 metres, with a weeping, very irregular crown. It has sharp, bluish green needles 1 to 1.2 cm in length, and upright reddish brown cones, 5 to 8 cm, which hang down when ripe. The bark is red-brown, fibrous and fissured.

Sources of Information

  1. Nelmes, W. 1964. The ugliest tree in Britain. Gardener's Chronicle, volume 155, page 457
  2. Personal communication (MF+TD)
  3. Roath Botanic Garden Plant List page 80