Dawn Redwood Trunk Chop (Formal Upright)

emk

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I'm debating if I chopped this dawn redwood at the right location. I'm trying to achieve a formal upright style. There are plenty of buds further down th trunk, but I'm not sure with Dawn Redwoods if I should treat it more like a conifer (not to chop lower than the lowest branch) or a deciduous tree (where chopping below the branches is okay).

As it is, the higher branch is at a narrower angle from the trunk, so it will be easier to train vertically (when I let the area above the chop die back naturally and then carve back and wire the branch upwards) - the lower branch I'm planning to use as a sacrifice to help bulk up the lower trunk and remove after a few years.

So, does anyone have any experience with developing dawn redwoods and know if it's safe to chop lower than the lowest branch? - or have any other suggestions for that matter? (I airlayered off the top section, by the way - free trees are always nice.)

 

Kirk

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I would treat it similarly to a bald cypress. Let it pop buds this spring, choose the new shoots and remove the larger branches. Pick a new bud at the top as the leader and carve down to achieve taper. Removing the larger branches shouldn't be a problem. They pop out so many buds you should have many options to choose from. Since they have a similar form(tall/tapered) to BC you may consider leaving it at the current height and grow from there rather than reducing it further.

I have one that Gary Marchal worked with. These were some of his suggestions to me.

Best always,
Kirk
 
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rockm

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Treat it as a deciduous tree--as it IS a deciduous tree.

I'd eliminate the branches completely, down to the trunk--carving out the wounds to allow for thick callus tissue that these produce. They are completely unsuitable (and mostly unbendable) for a new apex. They will also look ridiculous if bent into a new apex...

I'd wait until buds start popping before refining the primary trunk cut. Choose a bud near the top and in a position that complements the roots before re-cutting at an angle away from the new apex bud.

Dawn redwood, like bald cypress, are pretty tough when in comes to pruning.

and FWIW, cutting branches on conifers is not the issue. Branches can be removed completely...even the lower ones. However, you cannot remove all green growth from conifers, as their needles act as "sap drawers" on limbs and twigs. If you cut all the green off of pine, it dies. That doesn't happen to deciduous conifers, though. Since they shed their needles naturally, they can be pruned as deciduous trees--all green growth can be pruned off and will be replaced...
 
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grouper52

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From the little I know of this species, and what I know of species it seems to be similar to I agree with kirk and rockm.

I'm always fascinated whenever anyone undertakes a formal upright - a real challenge - but this sort of species seems like it should be easy to work with in that regard. Please us posted as this this guy progresses - I'd love to see it develop.

G52
 

emk

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Treat it as a deciduous tree--as it IS a deciduous tree.

...you cannot remove all green growth from conifers, as their needles act as "sap drawers" on limbs and twigs. If you cut all the green off of pine, it dies. That doesn't happen to deciduous conifers, though. Since they shed their needles naturally, they can be pruned as deciduous trees--all green growth can be pruned off and will be replaced...
That's what I needed to know, thanks much rockm!

Please us posted as this this guy progresses - I'd love to see it develop.
G52
Will do.
 

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