Giant Sequoia Bonsai Discussions and Advice

linina

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#1
Hi everyone,

I have found quite a few threads here for Giant Sequoia, however, I feel the need to open my own thread now because as long as I still have these babies in my yard, I think I will run into problems now and then.

So here, welcome all of the knowledge, advice and really, anything you know at all about Giant Sequoia would be appreciated and very helpful in my journey to keep them as my bonsai.

Currently, I've found a lot of squirmy wormy little white thing under the soil but, in another thread, I was assured that they will do no harm to my Sequoias. Hence, I will leave it there and see how it goes!!

Now, I know they like to stay hydrated, not wet and then dry watering technique. So I try to keep them moist yet leave room for water to drain completely. I realized that when watering, they thrive to have water from head to toe (or root) because they do absorb water through their foliages as well. So I've got a lot of new growth on the tips and the trunk. However, fertilizer is something I have not figured it out yet. I have been using NPK 12-4-5 for them (very little at a time so I won't mess it up) and they've responded well (new growth). As far as I know, now that it's winter (in Southern California...) I will pace it out with fertilizing and stop until summer again. Now, I don't know about pruning; root pruning nor branch pruning. I haven't dared to try it, except clipping off a couple tips.

So if anyone has advice for me and want to share your knowledge about Giant Sequoia, please feel free to. I'd love to learn more and most certainly want to keep them healthy as possible due to their hard to grow naturally.

Thank you for reading so far 😊

55935602751__55F23E34-254D-44CE-A543-A9C489AD088A.JPG


L
 

AlainK

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#3
I can only repeat what I've just written in other threads, based on my own (limited) experience:

- They're very hard to form as bonsai
- they resent dry weather (and dry winds)
- they like "wet feet"
- ... so they like a deeper pot than for other species
- they have a strong apical growth
- ... that's why they drop lower branches, especially if they are grown in an environment as described above
- spraying the tree in early morning, and during the day, helps. I'm pretty sure that this is much more important than "keeping its feet wet".

The natural range for Sequoiadendron starts at 4,900 feet according to various US sources: I don't know what that exactly means in terms of environment, but that's probably places that get snow in the winter, and where palm-trees don"t grow. And BTW, because of more and more frequent droughts, the species is watched closely by conservationists, its natural range tends to shrink.

So it's a good thing to keep some specimens that can be looked after with care in a garden, or an arboretum. I still have a cutting from one I lost years ago, not to work on as a bonsai candidate, just to keep the family alive :)

Wish you good luck with yours :cool:
 

linina

Seedling
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#4
ah thank you so much for your information. They are very helpful!!! I'll spray them more often.

Here are new photos I took today. They're growing well and I hope to keep them healthy during winter. I have 2 baby trees, one is taller than the other 😁

IMG_2458.jpg
IMG_2459.jpg
IMG_2456.jpg
IMG_2457.jpg
 
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#5
I notice many of the little white worms as well around several of my trees in the grow out bed but have never seen any ill effects from them, most likely they are beneficial so I don’t worry about them.
 

linina

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#6
I notice many of the little white worms as well around several of my trees in the grow out bed but have never seen any ill effects from them, most likely they are beneficial so I don’t worry about them.
Thank you for the info. I will keep my eyes on them. So far they haven't done any harm so I am not too alert.
 
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#7
Of much interest is growing Giant Sequoia. Hai Thank you for discussion Giant Sequoia. Hai Hai

From I growing 3 year no branch is falling off from the tree. Hai He is growing strong in narrow limits. Branches is now start to drop.

This one in excessive heating is using sogie for the water. Hai in 2 week using 30 minute sogie in the 5-5-5. Hai He liking that, Sogie is good for the high heats. Hai Hai

This pot you are using is not so good for now. He need the air on the roots some more at this timing. Hai I using pot with the mezy bottom. Hai Mezy is good for tree root. Hai

He dont need the strong cut now. Hai Soon come to get lower potting.

I make some picture of my Giant Sequoia tree and some Black Pine. Hai. Notice is of the soils and pot type for growing. Hai Hai Elevation is 350 meter. Hai

Thank you discussion growing pre-proper bonsai Giant Sequoia. Hai Thank you, Thank you topic of particular interest, not so much information available. Hai Thank you for discussion. Thank you.
 

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linina

Seedling
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#8
Of much interest is growing Giant Sequoia. Hai Thank you for discussion Giant Sequoia. Hai Hai

From I growing 3 year no branch is falling off from the tree. Hai He is growing strong in narrow limits. Branches is now start to drop.

This one in excessive heating is using sogie for the water. Hai in 2 week using 30 minute sogie in the 5-5-5. Hai He liking that, Sogie is good for the high heats. Hai Hai

This pot you are using is not so good for now. He need the air on the roots some more at this timing. Hai I using pot with the mezy bottom. Hai Mezy is good for tree root. Hai

He dont need the strong cut now. Hai Soon come to get lower potting.

I make some picture of my Giant Sequoia tree and some Black Pine. Hai. Notice is of the soils and pot type for growing. Hai Hai Elevation is 350 meter. Hai

Thank you discussion growing pre-proper bonsai Giant Sequoia. Hai Thank you, Thank you topic of particular interest, not so much information available. Hai Thank you for discussion. Thank you.

Thank you for your information. I have just learned something new from you. I use the bonsai soil to give them air circulation and only put on top the moss so that it could keep the water from vaporizing. Perhaps I should give them a bigger pot. I have the intention to keep them relatively small size, though. There really isn't very much information about Sequoia Bonsai that's why I want to gather from everyone and hopefully can keep mine healthy. And your Sequoia looks very healthy!!!! it looks great 👍
 
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#9
I think in the many region life is to sharp for the Giant Sequoia. Success is not measurable and interest is lost there. Hai

Here in the California we can grow this tree. I am finding that he does like too much water in summer. Hai Talking with US forest ranger was in position that ground water flowing all summer moons. Hai When visiting National Forest Big Tree we find we cannot walking near big tree. Hai Many top root in soil come to danger from standing on firmly. This is not acceptable with US Ranger. Hai He building waling path for enjoyment of tree.

If you changing pot consideration of future vision is necessary. Hai Relative to small is unknown sizing. We using the hand or proper naming for cementer in heights. Hai If the relative to small he maybe the Shohin tree. Hai Recommendation is using small pond basket. Hai Some we use the Plastic colander but UV is making fall to pieces. Hai Pond basket is UV protection. Hai Can cut the mezy so pot can be lower. Hai

If the day is very hot and your timing for water is of concern, understand I have leaving this tree in water pot for the saogie for 18 hour. He like the water on feet. Just not all times terminate. If he needing water he droop. You can watch that tree lift up after a short time in water. Hai This is created by Turgor pressure in healthy cell osmosis. Hai Hai Do not soagie in 5-5-5 for this duration. Hai!!!

Thank you for discussion, Thank you,
 

AlainK

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#11
ah thank you so much for your information. They are very helpful!!! I'll spray them more often.

Here are new photos I took today. They're growing well and I hope to keep them healthy during winter. I have 2 baby trees, one is taller than the other 😁




What I wrote about strong apical dominance and its consquence, lower branches dying as the plant grows, is visible here I think...
 
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#12
What I wrote about strong apical dominance and its consquence, lower branches dying as the plant grows, is visible here I think...
If the low branch is dying he is not in abundant soils. Hai In Nature he dont lose branch. He lose branch in pot without fertilizer. Hai He cannot making his food in poor soils and drying. Hai
 

linina

Seedling
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#13
so if I live in Southern California, where we don't have a snowy winter, do I keep fertilizing them? reduce it down to very little or cut it off completely?

By the way, I just moved them to a bigger pot the other day. I didn't mess with the root at all, just transferring to a bigger pot. They look still good :)
 
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Location
New Hampshire (White Mountains)
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#14
I grew a bunch of sequoias a number off years back, and didn’t do much research on their needs at the time, so eventually they all died. BUT, from those experiences and research about them since, here are some key things I can add:

1. The roots put out “feeders,” especially in the lower roots, which are extremely brittle, hairlike structures, and are the only parts of the root structure capable of absorbing water from the soil. So, do not root prune! Sequoias are self pruning in the roots, so they don’t have to be pruned. If you’re repotting, and you absolutely have to prune the root ball to fit a shallower pot, prune from the top down by carefully shaving off small layers of the thinner roots, leaving the larger parts intact (which would contribute to a cool Nebari later on as the tree thickens and develops).

2. Sequoias’ main downfall seems to be dehydration. Cold, dry winds during the winter, or hot, dry weather in the summer will kill them. I’ve read (source long forgotten, sorry...) that most people recommend never leaving them in a heated room (especially something like central air or a pellet wood stove) during the winter time, as the air gets too dry for them. Same goes for air conditioning in the summer time. If you have to keep them in a room with that kind of temperature control, it would be a good idea to keep a humidifier nearby. Also, get yourself a spray bottle and give all the foliage a good spritz every time you water it, sometimes twice or three times on really hot or dry days.

3. Sequoias are adapted to shallow, rocky soil in the Sierra Nevada mountains. They don’t tolerate “wet” soil well. They like damp, but well-drained, and prefer acidic conditions. I just barely planted a 2-year-old tree in some cactus mix, but I remember when I planted the 20-something seeds I had years ago, the recommended soil was 45-50% peat moss, 50-55% vermiculite.

Otherwise... they’re very hardy and super adaptable to various conditions. I’d say the number one thing to pay attention to is the roots, which are VERY fragile. Squish them around or jostle them too much and the trees will most likely die within a couple weeks from dehydration.
 

Bonsai Nut

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#15
most people recommend never leaving them in a heated room (especially something like central air or a pellet wood stove) during the winter time, as the air gets too dry for them
They aren't tropicals. They should never be in ANY room in the winter. They do just fine in cold weather, and experience cold temps and heavy snowfall in their native range. The tallest tree in Switzerland is believed to be a giant sequoia planted there in 1886. There are examples of trees in Sweden and Norway. Supposedly they can survive temps as low as -25 F or colder.
 

coh

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#16
My experience with giant sequoia - I have one potted specimen (about 7 years now) and had planted one in the ground. The one in the ground
didn't make it through the first winter. I suspect the problem was wind/dehydration. I have since read a number of times that they are
particularly susceptible to desiccation and cold winds when young - so in colder areas (like here) they need to be protected with burlap or some
other screening for the first few years. I may try another one at some point.

The one in the pot (fairly large nursery container with nursery soil) has been exposed to pretty cold temps but I do bring it inside my
barn or unheated porch to keep it out of the winter wind. It freezes and remains frozen for long periods, probably has been exposed to temps
well down to the single digits/near 0 F with the pot unprotected. I've read they are touchy about root work and have only done some limited root pruning
during repotting. At some point though it's going to need more significant reduction and that does worry me. We'll see what happens. I'm going to try
to do it gradually over a number of years.
 

Bonsai Nut

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#17
For what it's worth, here's the current weather in Sequoia National Park. Even though it is California, it gets COLD. I was there last year in April, and most of the park was still closed due to snow and weather. Many years King's Canyon doesn't even open up until Memorial Day. Note the negative temps at night, and the SIX FEET of new snow accumulation.

sequoia-national-park.jpg

What it looked like last April:

sequoia.jpg

Not saying this is the case, but sometimes people confuse Giant Sequoias with Coast Redwoods. They are two entirely different critters :)
 
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#18
Not saying this is the case, but sometimes people confuse Giant Sequoias with Coast Redwoods. They are two entirely different critters :)
Yes! That’s a pet peeve of mine... lol. I think because the Coast Redwoods’ genus is “Sequoia” people confuse them.

It’s not unusual to get temps down to -30, sometimes a few degrees colder, where I live. This winter has been mild by most standards (Thanks, climate change...) and we’ve only had a couple nights that have gotten down to -20 here and there. But, because of that, I never put my Giants outside when I had them last. I most likely will cover this one to protect it from frost, and put it on my unheated porch, which is usually 5-10 degrees warmer than the outside temps.
 

Bonsai Nut

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#19
It’s not unusual to get temps down to -30, sometimes a few degrees colder, where I live.
It's all about the roots. Protect the roots, and you'll be fine. Best of all, take your tree and bury it under 3' of snow. It will stay insulated and humid.
 

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