Sequoiadendron giganteum Forest & Woodland Alliance
Giant sequoia forest and woodland

USDA Ecological Section Map

Summary Information

  • Primary Life FormTree
  • Elevation1400-2600 m
  • State RarityS3.2
  • Global RarityG3
  • DistributionUSA: CA (NatureServe) (Calflora)
  • Endemic to CaliforniaYes
  • Endemic to California Floristic Province and DesertsYes
  • Date Added1995/11/01

Characteristic Species

Sequoiadendron giganteum is dominant or co-dominant in the tree canopy with Abies concolor, Abies magnifica, Calocedrus decurrens, Pinus contorta ssp. murrayana, Pinus jeffreyi, Pinus lambertiana, Pinus ponderosa, Pseudotsuga menziesii and Quercus kelloggii.

Vegetation Layers

Trees < 95 m; canopy is intermittent or continuous. Shrub layer is open to intermittent. Herbaceous layer is sparse or abundant.

Membership Rules

  • Sequoiadendron giganteum dispersed in the stand as emergents with > 10% absolute canopy cover (Keeler- Wolf et al. 2003b).


Montane flats to middle slopes. Soils commonly granitic-derived, well drained.

Other Habitat, Alliance and Community Groupings

MCV (1995) Giant sequoia series
NVCS (2009) Sequoiadendron giganteum forest alliance
Calveg Big tree (Giant sequoia), Mixed conifer-Giant sequoia
Holland Big tree forest
Munz Yellow pine forest
WHR Sierran mixed conifer
CDFW CA Code 86.200.00

National Vegetation Classification Hierarchy

Formation Class Mesomorphic Tree Vegetation (Forest and Woodland)
Formation Subclass Temperate Forest
Formation Cool Temperate Forest
Division Western North America Cool Temperate Forest
Macro Group Californian-Vancouverian Montane and Foothill Forest
Group Californian montane conifer forest