Giant Sequoias Sequoiadendron giganteum are incredible and inspiring trees. They can live for thousands of years: the oldest specimens are among the largest living organisms on earth. Their soft spongy bark grows up to two feet thick, providing fully- grown trees with significant protection against threats such as fire. High levels of tannin make them practically immune to fatal attack by disease and insects.
Sequoias have not only evolved to survive regular low-level forest fires, they literally thrive on them. The heat opens up cones on the forest floor, releasing seeds that like to germinate and take root in the nutrient-rich ash. Unfortunately increasingly intense wildfires and drought caused by climate change now pose a threat to Sequoias, and their future is at risk.
Sequoias played a key role in the birth of the modern-day conservation movement. European-Americans first discovered a Giant Sequoia in the Sierra Nevada foothills in1852 - they celebrated the find by cutting it down. The tree captured the public’s imagination, and as ‘Big Tree mania’ took hold more were toppled and turned into souvenirs and tourist attractions (yes, they are the trees you used to be able to drive your car through).
Fortunately not everyone was complacent about their destruction, and in 1864 Californian senator John Conness urged Congress to pass a bill that would grant protection to Yosemite Valley and the neighbouring Sequoia grove. Once passed, the bill opened the door for the establishment of the National Park movement.
Sequoia comes from the Latin sequi which means to follow. We chose the name Sequoia for our violin and cello duo to embrace our new direction, connecting music nature and people.