Coastal Redwood Wintering

Peter Smith

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Hi all,

Last November I seed started ponderosa pine, japanese black pine, piñon pine, and coastal redwood. I have a good idea of how to winter the pines but am unsure of what would be best for the two coastal redwoods. I live in Denver and have only east facing windows. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Peter
 

Redwood Ryan

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Well, you definitely can't winter any of those trees indoors. The Redwood won't survive a Denver winter, indoors or out. You're kinda without a paddle here.
 

hemmy

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If they are just seedlings, it's probably not worth the trouble. But if you had a mature specimen, you might be able to build a cold house with a heater, ventilation, and thermostat to maintain 45F. But that sounds a little cost prohibitive for a few seedlings.

Check out @JudyB 's setup:
http://www.bonsainut.com/threads/my-cold-green-house.10624/
 

AlainK

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When you say "coast(al) redwood", I assume you mean Sequoia sempervirens, right?

"Coast redwood trees were used in a display at Rockefeller Center and then given to Longhouse Reserve in East Hampton, Long Island, New York, and these have now been living there for over twenty years and have survived at 2 °F (−17 °C)." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sequoia_sempervirens

I sowed some four years ago.

They suffered the first two years but I repotted them in bigger pots with a richer medium. They were 20-25 cm the third year, now 50-70 cm in their fourth year.

I keep them in a place when they get the sun from 10:30 till 12:30 and are in the shade the rest of the time. This year was unusually very hot and dry but I watered them every day (more or less). Trumperatures here don't fall lower than -7°, -10° C in the winter (about 19F-14F) and only for a few days.

If you have a balcony and can protect them like wrapping them with a kind of fabric when it freezes, they should be all right.

If you keep them indoors, they'll die.
 

Peter Smith

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It's worth the trouble to me because I'm the type of person who wants to do the entire process from start to finish. Awesome, thanks for the mostly positive feedback. Yes, they are S. sempervirens. I'll be making a shelter for my pines too so I could just include them in that. They currently are and will be on my balcony. Also, I have access to an essentially endless supply of plexiglass at my work, any thoughts on making some sort of small greenhouse?
 

Peter Smith

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My redwoods are 10 months old and 40 and 60 cm tall respectively. I haven't pruned them at all.
 

Guy Vitale

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I keep Coast Redwoods in the Detroit area, they will die within a couple years if kept indoors (in a house) I know this now the hard way. I overwinter mine in a 3 season room and they have thrived in there the last 7 years or so. They are kept at about 55-60 degrees and fairly high humidity. I've heard people overwinter small ones in a refrigerator.

The first image was two years ago when I got the raw stock from Bob and Zack Shimon, the second was earlier this spring, I'm still developing the apex.
 

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sorce

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any thoughts on making some sort of small greenhouse?
Small as in...

Apartment Balcony small?

I only fear it May get too hot...

Make sure you have ventilation.
Thermostats that trigger vents would be optimal.

Welcome to Crazy!

Sorce
 

Peter Smith

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Ya, apartment balcony small. Probably around 3x3x4. Good call on the ventilation.
 

Chris Swink

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It's worth the trouble to me because I'm the type of person who wants to do the entire process from start to finish. Awesome, thanks for the mostly positive feedback. Yes, they are S. sempervirens. I'll be making a shelter for my pines too so I could just include them in that. They currently are and will be on my balcony. Also, I have access to an essentially endless supply of plexiglass at my work, any thoughts on making some sort of small greenhouse?
Be careful with plexi. It will act as a magnifying glass on your trees in sunlight. You might be better off going on amazon and purchasing a small quanity of greenhouse plastic for your wind and and cold protection. Good airflow and temperature regulation are going to be your friends here.
 

Peter Smith

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Be careful with plexi. It will act as a magnifying glass on your trees in sunlight. You might be better off going on amazon and purchasing a small quanity of greenhouse plastic for your wind and and cold protection. Good airflow and temperature regulation are going to be your friends here.
Oh Cool. Good to know. Thoughts on this little guy? http://www.lowes.com/pd/Flowerhouse-2-ft-L-x-2-ft-W-x-2-8-ft-H-Poly-Sheeting-Greenhouse/3111997
 

Chris Swink

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Looks like it would work. Just remember to have good air circulation to prevent fungus and root rot
 

Chris Swink

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Try this. You could build it to suit your needs. Just reduce the dimensions for your available space. Key would be to have two sides that can be opened at various times of the day for good ventilation.
http://www.motherearthnews.com/diy/garden-yard/~/media/39A3CC910E704F6A8D9528B57A1EC85C.ashx
 

Chris Swink

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Try this. You could build it to suit your needs. Just reduce the dimensions for your available space. Key would be to have two sides that can be opened at various times of the day for good ventilation.
http://www.motherearthnews.com/diy/garden-yard/~/media/39A3CC910E704F6A8D9528B57A1EC85C.ashx
You will also be able to remove the plastic from the top as well for those unusually warm and windless days to let more air in
 

JudyB

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So is your goal to induce dormancy? Or to keep above 40F? You'll want differing conditions for those two very different things... Heat mats can help greatly for certain circumstances.
 

Peter Smith

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I just want my coastal redwoods to survive the winter. I was simply planning on keeping it above 32F.
 

JudyB

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Ok then, you'll be better off with something that will block sun if you plan on dormancy. If you put this in a greenhouse without temp controls (to keep it cold) then you'll have issues with the warmth of the sun. If you try to put it in an enclosure after dormancy that can keep it dark and cold that would be best. The problem is that the tree may wake up with several days of over 40º in the middle of winter. Then what? If you can't give it enough sun after it wakes up, it may die or become very weak. And if you let it freeze after it wakes up then same outcome. I would suggest a heat mat and thermostat that would come on at a set temp like 34 or so. It will swing a little either way. Get a good probe type thermostat so it can go into the soil. If these are small enough, I know some folks who have overwintered in large cooler type setups. LMK if you want any other information from me, I've been overwintering outside my zone for a long time... Just not redwoods, so not sure about what you actually need to give the plant.
Oh, and btw, please put your location in your profile so we can give you applicable advice without having to ask all the time where you are... :)
 

Peter Smith

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Ok then, you'll be better off with something that will block sun if you plan on dormancy. If you put this in a greenhouse without temp controls (to keep it cold) then you'll have issues with the warmth of the sun. If you try to put it in an enclosure after dormancy that can keep it dark and cold that would be best. The problem is that the tree may wake up with several days of over 40º in the middle of winter. Then what? If you can't give it enough sun after it wakes up, it may die or become very weak. And if you let it freeze after it wakes up then same outcome. I would suggest a heat mat and thermostat that would come on at a set temp like 34 or so. It will swing a little either way. Get a good probe type thermostat so it can go into the soil. If these are small enough, I know some folks who have overwintered in large cooler type setups. LMK if you want any other information from me, I've been overwintering outside my zone for a long time... Just not redwoods, so not sure about what you actually need to give the plant.
Oh, and btw, please put your location in your profile so we can give you applicable advice without having to ask all the time where you are... :)
Great. Thanks so much. I think I'll plan on keeping the temp at or just below 40 with the use of a heating mat, especially since unexpected, warm winter days are not uncommon here.
 

coh

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I have several (3) coast redwoods in this rather inhospitable upstate NY climate. I generally let them get exposed to light frosts in the fall, and eventually move them into an unheated mudroom that stays between about 35-45 F most of the winter. From talking to Brent Walston, these trees do get exposed to frosts and occasional freezes in their native environment so I don't worry about the top growth...but I don't think letting the roots freeze is a good idea.

For seedlings, I'd definitely be more cautious for the first winter or two. But I don't have any experience with really small/young ones.
 

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