Sequoia has attained the status of the most expensive wood in the world, costing up to €1500 per cubic metre. The tree, named in honour of the Cherokee chief Sequoyah, is an emblem of the United States. Its habitat is found almost exclusively in North America, more specifically on the coasts of California and Oregon.
What’s so special about sequoia?
Given the economic returns involved, various South American countries have decided to press ahead with sequoia cultivation. In Europe it is remarkably difficult to obtain timber of this quality, due to its high price and associated import fees, which together make it virtually unattainable to the majority of consumers. In Spain a few specimens – gifted by the Marquess of Corvera, in bygone days, to the Duke of Wellington – can be found around the province of Granada.
Sequoia grows vigorously in shaded areas, and reaching great heights given the correct conditions. The high market value of the timber is a direct result of its giant proportions and the challenges thus created in working with the product. Certain specimens have been known to reach a diameter of 7m, with a height of 115m, making the sequoia the tallest living organism on the planet. The species is also extremely hardy, living up to 3000 years and beyond.
Sequoia has a soft, thick, brownish-red bark. The exceptional quality of the wood, along with its attractive colour, make it a sought-after material for the timber industry. Many high-end pieces of furniture are created using sequoia; its strength and durability establish the sequoia as the perfect option for crafting windows, doors and other woodwork projects. The material, however, is not particularly resistant to flexing or bumps, and therefore its usage is not recommended for construction.