Conifer Division: Palafr01's Dawn Redwoods (2021 shohin contest)

palafr01

Seedling
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While perusing the Bnut website one night, I stumbled upon the 2021 shohin contest thread and became so inspired by all the different contest entries that I decided to have a go at it myself. Coincidentally I had happened to have started some dawn redwoods from seed last year from cones that I collected near my home, and out of the 30 or so seeds that I sowed around 9 germinated, and of those only 5 survived until the end of the growing season. I knew that I didn't want to do the same old cliché forest planting most people attempt with their redwood seedlings so I thought the rules of the contest gave the perfect excuse for me to try something different.
 

palafr01

Seedling
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So I thought for awhile and realized that I couldn't recall a thread or post where someone created a formal upright dawn redwood from scratch (i.e. from seed/cutting). In most cases dawn redwood bonsai (like most trees) are usually started with a big box store tree or large landscape tree and cut it down to start. Admittedly it is faster to develop a tree this way, but given how quickly redwoods grow I thought it would be worth trying to grow one out from the beginning. So this thread will hopefully serve as a roadmap to others whose wish to grow out dawn redwoods from seed.
 

palafr01

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Finally to the documentation. I unfortunately do not have many pictures of the 5 seedlings since they were on autopilot (growing out) for the most part last year. To summarize the previous growing season, I was new to the species so I was learning as I went. To summarize here's two what I learned:
1. dawn redwoods are fairly easy to grow with few if any pest problems. The few seedlings I did lose died early on due to damping off which is not uncommon in conifers.
2. while redwoods like moisture I believe they do appreciate having well draining soil.

I think my soil composition ( a combination of small pumice, gravel, and peat) could have been better as my surviving seedlings finished growing with heights around 4-9 inches which if I recall falls a bit short of the 10-12 inches that can be expected under ideal conditions. Being new to redwoods I did not separate them from their starting container which could have played a factor as well.

Goals for 2022:
1. Separate and repot the seedlings into a better mix so they can grow out for the rest of the season.
2. Begin to consider which of the seedlings are the best candidates for the contest

Lastly, good luck to all growers in the contest and may you all have a successful 2022 growing season!

(fyi picture taken 11/1/21)
 

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LindaPat

Yamadori
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Philadelphia PA
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They have such funny roots, but root cuttings never work for me. I think there must be a good way of pruning them, but I haven’t found it. I’ve learned to keep them in a shallow tray of water in the summer.
 
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