General information on redwood pruning?

october

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Hello all... I was wondering if anyone could share some general pruning information regarding coastal redwoods. I have one that I gave a light trim to recently. However, I did not want to prune more until I found out more info.. Such as... Can you prune a branch that is still green? Would it die or would it back bud etc.. What if the branch was still mostly green, but over 1 foot long... Any info or articles would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.:)
 

Brian Underwood

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The very best information on the subject will be found with Mr. Redwood (aka Bob Shimon), but I will give you the small amount of information I have.

In the first stages of styling, branches should be left longer to promote branch thickening and woody growth. After your branches are thick and have a little secondary growth, it is time to cut back to smaller "leaves" and begin the pinching process. Older, longer needled secondary branches should be removed, and will promptly be replaced by smaller needled new buds. After these have grown out an inch or two, they can be pinched by simply pulling on the last 1/4", it will break in just the right spot. After this, there should be even more backbudding which will increase ramification. During this entire time, the tree will be putting out new growth all over the trunk, which should be removed as soon as it is noticed, to direct growth where you want it.

To answer the simple part of your question, yes. Branches that are still green can be cut back to the next living bud without much worry of dieback. If there is no bud to cut back to it ends up being a bit of a gamble, and you have a chance of the branch either weakening or backbudding profusely.

How is your tree doing? Pictures?
 

october

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Thank you very much Brian... The tree is doing well... There is one thing that I am keeping an eye on though... I had some browning of the foliage at the end of winter.. However, when the warmer temps hit, the trees browning foliage turned very green again. Then, there was a couple of weeks where it got cold again.. Not too cold..maybe 40's/50's After this, the foliage started to turn brown again..This was also after the light trim. It was like it thought it was winter again...So other than a bunch of brown tips, the tree seems fine. It was repotted recently.. Here are some pics
 

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Brian Underwood

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Ooh, pretty, I like how its coming. I had the brown spots on the foliage at the end of winter as well. As soon as I gave it more sun, the spots turned a nice green again. It looks to me like you have pruned enough for right now. As soon as the branches start to push new growth you can think about pruning again, just let it grow 1/2"-1" first. You can remove all the little suckers on the trunk and base of branches that you don't want, and wiring can be done whenever. Lookin good.
 

John Ruger

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What type of climate is best for Redwoods? I live in eastern PA and I'm not sure if the climate is correct...any advice since I would love to work on one?
 

bonsai barry

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What type of climate is best for Redwoods? I live in eastern PA and I'm not sure if the climate is correct...any advice since I would love to work on one?

Probably the perfect climate is the one in which they are found naturally, the northern CA coast. The weather is very mild -- rarely freezing or exceeding mid to high seventies. Fog is an important component of their natural water system. The fog collects on the branchlets and forms water drops and falls on the roots. So a moderate shaded area is probably best.
 

John Ruger

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Thanks barry, I guess it would probably be a useless struggle for the tree in this area.
 

coh

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John, for what it's worth...I live in western NY and have been growing a coast redwood for 3 and a half years now. I got it from Brent Walston when it was a small seedling, less than 1/2 inch at the base...now it has a caliper over 2 inches and is 6 feet tall. It's not yet in a bonsai pot (obviously, I guess), that probably won't happen for several more years. The summers up here seem to suit it pretty well, we rarely get to or above 90 and the nights are pretty cool. During the winter I keep it in a partially heated porch where temps stay between 35 and 45 most of the time. I did get some browning of the foliage this winter but it's putting out healthy buds all over the tree.

Chris
 
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Bottom line, I think, is that it may be forgiving of our eastern summers, but it cannot be left outside in the winter--the freezing temperatures will kill it. I lost one from Brent by trying to overwintering it just by mulching it--not sufficient. If you can keep it above freezing, that's another story.
Oliver
 

John Ruger

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Thanks Chris and Oliver, so I guess I'd have to give it a good shelter. I have an enclosed porch with a space heater.
 

coh

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They can apparently tolerate some freezing...mine has experienced light freezes in the fall but I'm very careful to bring it in if the temp goes below 28 or so. Brent told me that his potted redwoods have been exposed to temperatures as low as 13 F with "no noticeable effect", but I'm not sure if the pots were mulched or exposed to the air. I'm not willing to take that chance with mine!
 

october

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Thanks for the info Brian.. It is much appreciated...

Also, it is recommended the redwoods not be kept in temps that are steadilly below 50 degrees. My redwood did very well over the winter being kept in an area that was in the 50's. I do not think a colder day than 50 here and there is going to do any damage, just not prolonged periods.
 

bob shimon

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pruning and growing redwoods

If you go to the GSBF website, click on "magazine" at the top of the home page and download the May/June 2010 issue, I wrote a 2 page article on redwoods based on my 25 years of collecting, growing, styling, pruning, & feeding redwoods. We sell and ship all over the country, in addition to Europe and Japan. Jim Doyle from Nature's Way in Pa. has bought from us on a fairly regular basis for the last dozen years or so.
I read a lot of misinformation about redwoods on the web. However, I think it is because they don't have a long history as bonsai material and peoples' lack of experience with them. If you can't download the article, send me a pm, and I'll be happy to copy it and send it off to you or answer your questions.
Good luck - Bob
 

coh

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Very helpful article, thanks for sharing. BTW, I saw some of those redwoods at Natures Way last month, really nice trees.
 

october

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Thank you very much Bob and Brian... Beutiful redwoods i nthe artilcle. Actually, the whole download is filled with absolutely amazing trees.
 

Bricker918

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pruning and growing redwoods

If you go to the GSBF website, click on "magazine" at the top of the home page and download the May/June 2010 issue, I wrote a 2 page article on redwoods based on my 25 years of collecting, growing, styling, pruning, & feeding redwoods. We sell and ship all over the country, in addition to Europe and Japan. Jim Doyle from Nature's Way in Pa. has bought from us on a fairly regular basis for the last dozen years or so.
I read a lot of misinformation about redwoods on the web. However, I think it is because they don't have a long history as bonsai material and peoples' lack of experience with them. If you can't download the article, send me a pm, and I'll be happy to copy it and send it off to you or answer your questions.
Good luck - Bob

I know it’s been quite a while, but any chance you still have a copy? Having a hard time accessing the page.
 

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