“Society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.” -Greek Proverb

Mission Statement:   The non-profit Eastern America Redwood Tree Habitats( E.A.R.T.H.) endeavors to re-establish groves of giant sequoia redwood trees (Sequoiadendron giganteum)  in protected tracts of deforested lands across the eastern United States, for the enjoyment of the American public for generations to come.  

Giant Sequoia trees, not so long ago, grew abundantly across the North American continent until glaciers carved them away in the last ice age.   Due to careless logging practices, only 5 % of these magnificent trees remain in isolated groves in Western Range of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California.   Climate change and other pressures related to human activities are now threatening the remaining 5% of giant sequoias with extinction.  In order to preserve these monumental trees in perpetuity, in 2017, members of Eastern America Redwood Tree Habitats( E.A.R.T.H.) grew two dozen, two-foot-tall Sequoia saplings from six-inch seedlings and successfully  transplanted  on them on two acres of pastureland in southern Virginia, where they are currently green and growing as the first grove of giant Sequoia in the eastern United States!  See PLANTING DAY DECEMBER 2, 2017 in sidebar photos.

Currently, single specimens of giant sequoia are growing at the National Arboretum and at the east end of the Capitol building in Washington D.C., as well as scores of locations across the eastern U.S.   A testament that giant Sequoia redwoods are both hardy and non- invasive in multiple zones across the Eastern United States.


 June 12,2018:  In winter of 2018, I donated funds for school kids where I work to plant 24 giant sequoia seedlings purchased as part of an educational program sponsored by Jonsteen Tree Company in McKinleyville, Ca.   After four months,22 of 24 trees are growing well in one-gallon pots under the supervision of students and their teachers.  See attached photo in sidebar dated June 12,2018.

March 2018: Sequoia seeds are notoriously difficult to germinate. In the best of conditions 25% germination rate is the most that can be expected and more often much lower rates are the usual. Germination may not take place for many months.  After two months I have successfully germinated six sequoia seedings from 150 seeds!

Feb 2018:   This is first visit to the grove ten weeks after members of Eastern America Redwood Tree Habitats( E.A.R.T.H.) planted in December 2017 two dozen, two-foot-tall Sequoia saplings on two acres of pastureland in southern Virginia, where they are currently green and growing as the first and only grove of giant Sequoia in the eastern United States!  See PLANTING DAY DECEMBER 2, 2017 in sidebar photos and my YouTube video link below:

January 2018: Germinating giant sequoia seeds. See sidebar photo

I planted giant sequoia seeds in an off the shelf seed germination mix containing vermiculite from three different suppliers:

#1 http://www.MySeeds.Co

#2 is from Nigel Dodds United Kingdom who procured them from Whitaker Forest owned by UC Berkeley in Red mountain area adjacent to Kings Canyon.

#3 http://www.chilternseeds.co.uk

I sewed five seeds each at 1/8″ deep per germination cup. All seeds had been stored in the refrigerator for one year prior to planting. Seeds from suppliers #1 and 3# were pre-soaked 24 hours prior to planting.  After a good watering, the seed cups were placed on top of an electric germination warming pad for the winter.

Nov 11 and Dec.2,2017:  Planting of the twenty-two, two-year-old, two-foot-tall sequoia seedlings took place over two Saturdays in Nov and Dec 2017 in two acres of pastureland in southern Virginia.  The first session was grueling 10 hours solo planting by yours truly with pick-ax.  The second session members of the Eastern America Redwood Tree Habitats( E.A.R.T.H.)  We used a two-man auger to dig through the semi-loamy red clay soil like a knife through room temperature butter.  The five-gallon baby Sequoia trees were then delivered with loving care into beautiful 2 foot deep holes and given a good drink of water.  The Sequoia trees now have a new adopted home 2500 miles from their birthplace at the Jonsteen Tree Company in McKinleyville, California.

MAY 14, 2017  The fast-growing two foot tall lanky giant sequoia seedlings required some staking.  They were fertilized with 1.5 TBSP of Osmolite slow-release fertilizer per five-gallon pot.

March 4,2017: this was the next watering since 2/7/17 It thunder stormed and rained about 1″ which gave my trees a nice drink of water. I will let them ride for a while again, being careful not to water-log them. They are better off on the dry side.

Feb 2017: Today watered trees with 1-2 liters water each to achieve a wet weight of 15 lbs from dry weight of 10 lbs. I set a reminder on my smartphone to water them every two weeks.   From my readings on growing sequoia seedlings, the biggest mistake you can make is too much watering.  You must simulate what it is like out in the wild- periods of drought punctuated by a deluge.     You must resist the frequent light sprinkling of the tress while watering other flowers in the yard or garden.   Let the soil go completely dry between good drinks of water for your Sequoia saplings.
Rather than build or buy a greenhouse I have opted to keep my trees on an enclosed back porch which is highly shaded from summer heat and allows filtered light in the winter. The vinyl windows can readily be opened or closed to allow cross ventilation and the enclosure protects the trees from high winds.  I simply move the trees outside for watering every two weeks.

How to plant 1-2-year-old seedlings
Entry date 2/5/17
I received my 18-inch tall giant sequoia tree seedlings shipment in the mail from Jonsteen Trees in McKinley, Ca. January 30,2017.  They arrived in a bulk shipment bag of 25 trees:  plump, beer can sized root plugs in rich California soil.  I mixed 65% potting soil and 35% compacted peat moss and 5% vermiculite and planted each tree in 5 Gallon Grow Bag /Aeration Fabric Pots w/Handles.  I gave them a good drink of water and set them up under two four foot long workbench, cool white, fluorescent light fixtures on my enclosed porch back porch, not climate controlled.  My literature review revealed special grow lights are not needed, the wavelengths from these utility fluorescent fixtures work just fine.



Future installments:

  • Why plant Sequoia Redwoods:    Excerpt from travels w Charley, by John Steinbeck“The redwoods, once seen, leave a mark or create a vision that stays with you always. No one has ever successfully painted or photographed a redwood tree. The feeling they produce is not transferable. From them comes silence and awe. It’s not only their unbelievable stature, nor the color which seems to shift and vary under your eyes, no, they are not like any trees we know, they are ambassadors from another time.”
  • Setting up non-profit 501 3C foundation, selecting board of directors, and endowments sequoia grove conservancies in perpetuity and conservation easements.
  • Marketing  strategies for sustainable development of giant sequoia groves in your community:
  • Kids planting trees, for example, the Eden Project
  • Arboreal cemetery:   trees are leased out as living gravestones for urns buried under them. (page 92 from Hidden Life of Trees, by Peter Wohlleben)