Big Coast Redwood

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I just purchased a Coast Redwood from a club member and friend. He collected this tree 6 years ago from a property in the Santa Cruz Mountains. I'm super excited for this tree and it's exploding with growth already.
I'm familiar with the general care of these trees and I live in an area (Fremont, CA) where these grow in people's yards, so they do well here. I'm hoping to get a better understanding of when I can safely wire branches, when and where to trim, etc. Any advice on those topics would be appreciated.

Here are a few pictures for fun.

IMG-9985.jpg

IMG-9986.jpg
IMG-9997.jpg
IMG-0013.jpg
 

BrianBay9

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Nice material! I've had a few, but eventually got tired of trying to keep up with the foliage maintenance. To generate ramification only trim foliage while it's actively growing. Never trim past an active bud. Pinching out the terminal buds while they are soft and light green will stimulate more back budding and ramification. You have to keep up with the trim and pinching all through the growing season to keep them from growing past your design. There is no "two or three flushes of growth". It is constant for 9 months.
 
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Nice material! I've had a few, but eventually got tired of trying to keep up with the foliage maintenance. To generate ramification only trim foliage while it's actively growing. Never trim past an active bud. Pinching out the terminal buds while they are soft and light green will stimulate more back budding and ramification. You have to keep up with the trim and pinching all through the growing season to keep them from growing past your design. There is no "two or three flushes of growth". It is constant for 9 months.

I appreciate the info. Just a few questions:
- How long should the green growth be before you prune it for ramification?
- I'd like more primary branches on the right side of the tree - I assume back budding is what I'm after, correct? To make this happen I can pinch all of the green growth on the tree and hope a new sprout pops up where I want it?
- Is there a specific season that I should wire or certain seasons I should avoid wiring? I'd like to be sure I don't hurt the tree by doing something in the wrong season
- I'm planning on fertilizing with Osmocote Plus every couple of months. Does that sound reasonable?
- I'm giving just morning sun right now (65-75 degree weather daily). Sound reasonable?

Thanks again
 

Deep Sea Diver

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I appreciate the info. Just a few questions:
- How long should the green growth be before you prune it for ramification?
Here’s what I’ve experienced…. Well before that I would say that the big question is what’s your goal? In this case it means what do to want the over all style to be. I can envision gentle clouds of foliage with the bare shari emanating from the layers of clouds… nothing on top, with a couple small daughter trees at the base… kept small.

But your tree and…. ya gotta have a concept. That‘s the hardest part.

Pruning: Start early in the year to develop the secondary trunk. @BrianBay9 gave some solid advice from there. Shoot for standard pad development. Practice good clip and grow technique.
- I'd like more primary branches on the right side of the tree - I assume back budding is what I'm after, correct? To make this happen I can pinch all of the green growth on the tree and hope a new sprout pops up where I want it?

Hmm…. keep the tree healthy, mist regularly and speak to the Redwood tree gods positively. Back buds will appear when the tree is healthy… but where the epicormic buds lie no one knows. You can’t rely on back budding appearing where you want.

One tangible thing you can do to help is trim down the upward rising branch down on that side regularly to keep it from hogging all the resources.

- Is there a specific season that I should wire or certain seasons I should avoid wiring? I'd like to be sure I don't hurt the tree by doing something in the wrong season
Wire as the foliage hardens off. Watch the wire as the tree grows swiftly!

- I'm planning on fertilizing with Osmocote Plus every couple of months. Does that sound reasonable?

Seems ok with an occasional supplement. Keep the trees out of the hot sun as these pellet formulas push a bit more ferts through the prills in the heat… plus coastal redwoods, as you know do not like to get really hot. Your morning sun plan will work fine, yet watch out for those blistering heat waves that occasionally hit the Bay. Mist often, or rig a misting system on a timer.

I use Osmocote plus and supplement with occasionally fish emulsion/CalMag/Humic acid… or Miracid. But my trees are in earlier stages of development, trunking out from 1 1/2 - 1 3/4” diameters this year.… and I’m shooting to ground layer each thi year.

- I'm giving just morning sun right now (65-75 degree weather daily). Sound reasonable?

See above comment
Thanks again
You are welcome. I’m sure there are others with more info. Check out your local club.

btw: I spent six years living in Alameda and loved it…. Sadly Uncle transferred me to Hawaii. Lots more diving however. 😉

cheers
DSD sends
 
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Here’s what I’ve experienced…. Well before that I would say that the big question is what’s your goal? In this case it means what do to want the over all style to be. I can envision gentle clouds of foliage with the bare shari emanating from the layers of clouds… nothing on top, with a couple small daughter trees at the base… kept small.

But your tree and…. ya gotta have a concept. That‘s the hardest part.

Pruning: Start early in the year to develop the secondary trunk. @BrianBay9 gave some solid advice from there. Shoot for standard pad development. Practice good clip and grow technique.


Hmm…. keep the tree healthy, mist regularly and speak to the Redwood tree gods positively. Back buds will appear when the tree is healthy… but where the epicormic buds lie no one knows. You can’t rely on back budding appearing where you want.

One tangible thing you can do to help is trim down the upward rising branch down on that side regularly to keep it from hogging all the resources.


Wire as the foliage hardens off. Watch the wire as the tree grows swiftly!



Seems ok with an occasional supplement. Keep the trees out of the hot sun as these pellet formulas push a bit more ferts through the prills in the heat… plus coastal redwoods, as you know do not like to get really hot. Your morning sun plan will work fine, yet watch out for those blistering heat waves that occasionally hit the Bay. Mist often, or rig a misting system on a timer.

I use Osmocote plus and supplement with occasionally fish emulsion/CalMag/Humic acid… or Miracid. But my trees are in earlier stages of development, trunking out from 1 1/2 - 1 3/4” diameters this year.… and I’m shooting to ground layer each thi year.



See above comment

You are welcome. I’m sure there are others with more info. Check out your local club.

btw: I spent six years living in Alameda and loved it…. Sadly Uncle transferred me to Hawaii. Lots more diving however. 😉

cheers
DSD sends

Really appreciate all of the advice! We've been looking at houses in Alameda - anyone you talk to from Alameda seems to love it there.

This may seem like a dumb question, but what happens if I prune a tree below the new green growth area, how will the branch/tree react? I have some branches (very top left) that are far too long already. Can I be aggressive with cutting them back?
Is there a time of year (are period in the growth cycle) where I should really avoid wiring?

Good point about setting a goal ahead of time. I'm thinking I want it similar to what you described. Here's a sketch of what I'm thinking.
IMG-0113.jpg

The 'daughter' on the right side is shown a bit bigger scale than it is in reality, but you generally get the point. What do you think? You're probably aware but I'll state this anyway since other people are reading this post as well : This is all a single plant - the tree on the left is just a sucker that is growing off the roots.

I'm learning a lot from these comments - please keep them coming.
 

Bricker918

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Here’s what I’ve experienced…. Well before that I would say that the big question is what’s your goal? In this case it means what do to want the over all style to be. I can envision gentle clouds of foliage with the bare shari emanating from the layers of clouds… nothing on top, with a couple small daughter trees at the base… kept small.

But your tree and…. ya gotta have a concept. That‘s the hardest part.

Pruning: Start early in the year to develop the secondary trunk. @BrianBay9 gave some solid advice from there. Shoot for standard pad development. Practice good clip and grow technique.


Hmm…. keep the tree healthy, mist regularly and speak to the Redwood tree gods positively. Back buds will appear when the tree is healthy… but where the epicormic buds lie no one knows. You can’t rely on back budding appearing where you want.

One tangible thing you can do to help is trim down the upward rising branch down on that side regularly to keep it from hogging all the resources.


Wire as the foliage hardens off. Watch the wire as the tree grows swiftly!



Seems ok with an occasional supplement. Keep the trees out of the hot sun as these pellet formulas push a bit more ferts through the prills in the heat… plus coastal redwoods, as you know do not like to get really hot. Your morning sun plan will work fine, yet watch out for those blistering heat waves that occasionally hit the Bay. Mist often, or rig a misting system on a timer.

I use Osmocote plus and supplement with occasionally fish emulsion/CalMag/Humic acid… or Miracid. But my trees are in earlier stages of development, trunking out from 1 1/2 - 1 3/4” diameters this year.… and I’m shooting to ground layer each thi year.



See above comment

You are welcome. I’m sure there are others with more info. Check out your local club.

btw: I spent six years living in Alameda and loved it…. Sadly Uncle transferred me to Hawaii. Lots more diving however. 😉

cheers
DSD sends
@Deep Sea Diver coming in with the great advice per usual, thank you! Always learn something from your posts.

@cbrshadow23 If you have a bonsai mirai account, there are some very informative redwood videos
 

vancehanna

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I just purchased a Coast Redwood from a club member and friend. He collected this tree 6 years ago from a property in the Santa Cruz Mountains. I'm super excited for this tree and it's exploding with growth already.
I'm familiar with the general care of these trees and I live in an area (Fremont, CA) where these grow in people's yards, so they do well here. I'm hoping to get a better understanding of when I can safely wire branches, when and where to trim, etc. Any advice on those topics would be appreciated.

Here are a few pictures for fun.

View attachment 432510

View attachment 432511
View attachment 432512
View attachment 432513
Certain looks promising for a fine Shokan upright!!
 

Deep Sea Diver

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Really appreciate all of the advice! We've been looking at houses in Alameda - anyone you talk to from Alameda seems to love it there.

We loved it! A bit far from the nearest dive site though.
This may seem like a dumb question, but what happens if I prune a tree below the new green growth area, how will the branch/tree react? I have some branches (very top left) that are far too long already. Can I be aggressive with cutting them back?
Is there a time of year (are period in the growth cycle) where I should really avoid wiring?

Sure, keep the tree healthy, cut back, but leave some green growth to be safe. It’s a good general rule to remember.. Redwoods respond very well to pruning.
Good point about setting a goal ahead of time. I'm thinking I want it similar to what you described. Here's a sketch of what I'm thinking.
Really nice drawing! Only thing I have to comment on is the shape. This depends on if you want to be stylistic or realistic.

Here’s the realistic viewpoint. Imho. Old growth Coastal Redwoods in a forested setting have flattened tops and irregular branch pads. Solitary trees have a different shape, not pyramidal. One thought if possible, if you tend towards naturalism.…..take a field trip out to Muir Woods, check out the trees there, then go up the Dipsea trail which begins right there, watching the tree/branch shapes all the way up to the top. Also get on the internet and see whats there, but nothing can replace being there and you’ll see if you have a chance to get up there. Solitary Coastal Redwood trees tend to not be pyramidical, More pointed on top, fattening out, then getting in tight, still a bit irregular. Of course one takes this info in and goes stylistic from there.

I won’t go into the pure classical stylistic side as there are many examples to check out.

The 'daughter' on the right side is shown a bit bigger scale than it is in reality, but you generally get the point. What do you think? You're probably aware but I'll state this anyway since other people are reading this post as well : This is all a single plant - the tree on the left is just a sucker that is growing off the roots.
This is a normal thing. 😎

Have fun with it!
DSD sends
 
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@Deep Sea Diver coming in with the great advice per usual, thank you! Always learn something from your posts.

@cbrshadow23 If you have a bonsai mirai account, there are some very informative redwood videos

I don't have a Bonsai Mirai account, but I'll get one to see these videos. thanks for the info!
 

Wood

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Don't have anything to add, just wanted to say that your tree is solid gold. Best of luck with it! Keep us updated!
 

Colorado

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Great tree, I love the hollow at the base. Looks like you could walk right in there!

Sweet drawing also!
 
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Thanks for the comments! I'm pretty excited about this tree.

Funny story: This past weekend I joined a local bonsai club (Kusamura Bonsai Club) and saw they had their annual event Saturday. They brought in Bob Shimon (Mendocino Bonsai) to do a Coast Redwood demo on one of his nice trees. I came and watched the demo and learned a lot, asked questions, etc. It was fantastic and I learned a ton. Anyways at the end of the demo they raffle off the Redwood that Bob demonstrated on. I bought some tickets and ended up winning the tree! What a lucky day.
Here's a picture of Bob and the redwood near the end of the demo. Also a picture of that same tree next to my Redwood discussed in this thread.
22.jpg
1.jpg
 

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