Giant Sequoia Cuttings?

GermanBonsaiDude

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Hey Guys

My Father in law owns a part of a Forest which i will take over one day. It's a coniferous forest and the 'highlights' are 2 young Giant Sequoias.
IMG-20201229-WA0000.jpg
Where i live, the forests have been suffering quite a lot from bark beetles in recent years sadly.
We found out that Giant Sequoias are resistant to those kind of Pests because of their thick bark and repellent tannins.
So i came up with the Idea to cut of a low branch and make a Bunch of cuttings that we can plant in the forest in a year or two.(The best looking will be turned into a nice Bonsai of course)

Has anybody expierience with the cloning of Sequoiadendron giganteum and would tell me how i should proceed and what to watch out for?

Thanks for your Time :)
 

LittleDingus

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I know it's possible...I have a "french beauty" cultivar that is from a rooted cutting. I've yet to try it myself, though.

I've searched the interwebs for how a couple of times. Looks like it might be as "simple" as the typical softwood cutting under humidity process: take a larger softwood cutting, dip in rooting hormone...or not...your choice, poke in seedling soil and keep under high humidity for 4-6 months.

Sorry, I've not tried this myself...just read about it. I don't have a sequoia I want to clone. I do have a coastal I want to clone...but I need it to grow up a little more so there's enough "extra" to turn into clippings.

If you try it, good luck! And do let us know how it turns out :)
 

LittleDingus

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It occurred to me that these things grow fast enough that, unless you can start with a large cutting/layer, it might be more advantageous to grow from seed. The seed germinates readily if sown properly. The seed is fairly cheep...at least through Sheffield's here in the US. Maybe it's harder to source in Europe??

Anyway, starting from seed is about as fast as starting from a smaller cutting and there would be the added bonus of adding genetic diversity to your population. That might not be something that matters at all to you...but clones would be genetically identical to the donor. Even without the genetic diversity bonus, seed may outgrow cutting given how long it takes cuttings to establish sometimes.
 

KingAldamir

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It occurred to me that these things grow fast enough that, unless you can start with a large cutting/layer, it might be more advantageous to grow from seed. The seed germinates readily if sown properly. The seed is fairly cheep...at least through Sheffield's here in the US. Maybe it's harder to source in Europe??

Anyway, starting from seed is about as fast as starting from a smaller cutting and there would be the added bonus of adding genetic diversity to your population. That might not be something that matters at all to you...but clones would be genetically identical to the donor. Even without the genetic diversity bonus, seed may outgrow cutting given how long it takes cuttings to establish sometimes.
Just a tip for better seed germination FYI: I've had better success by mixing some natural wood ash with seed starting mix. The seeds really need the minerals to germinate well, same as mimicking a natural forest fire since these is a tree species co-evolved w/ wildfires.
 

LittleDingus

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Just a tip for better seed germination FYI: I've had better success by mixing some natural wood ash with seed starting mix. The seeds really need the minerals to germinate well, same as mimicking a natural forest fire since these is a tree species co-evolved w/ wildfires.

That's interesting...I never thought to try that!

I've found seed depth to be critical...especially for dawn redwoods. If I bury them, the yield goes down. If I surface sow with something like peat moss and keep it from going dry, I get pretty good yields. Typically > 50% and often > 70%.

Source of seed also matters. I usually go with Sheffield's but they were out the last time I ordered. I went with a different vendor. Typical sowing procedure netted < 5% yield :(

I'll have to try a control with wood ash next time...I usually start a small batch of new dawn redwoods in October so I have something fun to watch over the winter :)
 

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