Growing a Coastal Redwood Forest

Bonds Guy

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3 years ago I started some Coastal Redwoods from seed. I forget how many sprouted, but today I have 3 still living. Now before you guys start attacking me about starting from seeds, keep in mind redwoods can't naturally survive in my zone (however, given the way winter is becoming less wintry, they just might be able to in some years). Also, since C. redwoods are endangered, maintaining genetic diversity makes me feel like a good samaritan😇. Anyhoo, back to the saplings, progress has been slow over the 3 years (I had a few things to learn), but since the beginning of spring '21, things are starting to ramp up.

The weather for this week will be tolerable, so to alleviate some of the workload for spring, I decided to repot the redwoods. Redwood #1 is the fastest grower of the 3, so I started with him. Unfortunately, I didn't take photos before girdling it last spring, but I swear it was 2-3mm thick. I'm very pleased with the growth it has put on since then. However, I'm worried this year won't be as prosperous without a sacrifice branch coming right off the base.

C. Redwood #1 (Before)
Redwood (Coastal) - Quavo 3.2.1.JPGRedwood (Coastal) - Quavo 3.2.2.JPGRedwood (Coastal) - Quavo 3.2.3.JPGRedwood (Coastal) - Quavo 3.2.4.JPG

C. Redwood #2 (After)
Redwood (Coastal) - Quavo 3.2.5.JPGRedwood (Coastal) - Quavo 3.2.6.JPGRedwood (Coastal) - Quavo 3.2.7.JPGRedwood (Coastal) - Quavo 3.2.8.JPG

I'm a little worried about this area. I see inverse taper forming. Any suggestions?
Redwood (Coastal) - Quavo 3.2.10.JPGRedwood (Coastal) - Quavo 3.2.9.JPG
 

LittleDingus

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3 years ago I started some Coastal Redwoods from seed. I forget how many sprouted, but today I have 3 still living. Now before you guys start attacking me about starting from seeds, keep in mind redwoods can't naturally survive in my zone (however, given the way winter is becoming less wintry, they just might be able to in some years). Also, since C. redwoods are endangered, maintaining genetic diversity makes me feel like a good samaritan😇. Anyhoo, back to the saplings, progress has been slow over the 3 years (I had a few things to learn), but since the beginning of spring '21, things are starting to ramp up.

The weather for this week will be tolerable, so to alleviate some of the workload for spring, I decided to repot the redwoods. Redwood #1 is the fastest grower of the 3, so I started with him. Unfortunately, I didn't take photos before girdling it last spring, but I swear it was 2-3mm thick. I'm very pleased with the growth it has put on since then. However, I'm worried this year won't be as prosperous without a sacrifice branch coming right off the base.

C. Redwood #1 (Before)
View attachment 419624View attachment 419625View attachment 419626View attachment 419627

C. Redwood #2 (After)
View attachment 419628View attachment 419629View attachment 419630View attachment 419631

I'm a little worried about this area. I see inverse taper forming. Any suggestions?
View attachment 419632View attachment 419633

I've also grow redwoods from seed. I have a few coastals that were sown in October 2018. Here's one for reference.

20210821_182930.jpg

Do you have pictures of the full trees?

The part you're worried about might become inverse taper looks like it might be a burl. There look to be a ton of buds all sprouting from a small region. This is common in coastal redwoods and is an indication of stress. The tree above has some burl at the base.

20210627_112657.jpg

I had rubbed off all the buds but I might let a few grow this year to help the burl grow and create some character.

Burl growth can run away quickly! I let several sprouts grow out of this burl and now it's my favorite coastal redwood :D

20210821_183317.jpg

This tree is the same age as the one above. I have to rub out new sprouts on the burl weekly during growing season to keep it under control!

This tree was repotted in September. It's still loose in the pot so be ready for that. You won't get much root growth until the temps climb. I keep mine in the garage under lights over the winter. They remain in the low 50F range most of the winter but they do get to freezing from time to time.

How do you manage yours over the winter?

20210915_120111.jpg
 

Bonds Guy

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Do you have pictures of the full trees?
I don't. Since the top is uninteresting, I didn't bother taking pictures, but I'll take a few of all them tomorrow.

The part you're worried about might become inverse taper looks like it might be a burl. There look to be a ton of buds all sprouting from a small region. This is common in coastal redwoods and is an indication of stress. The tree above has some burl at the base.
I figure that's what it is. Didn't know they formed from stress tho. I was thinking of letting it grow since it's low on the trunk. Maybe the base will fill in?

How do you manage yours over the winter?
I pot them in a regular garden pot and then bury in the ground. Around September, I cut them back and pull out the ground. I then leave them outside unless its freezing day and night. When that happens, I bring them in and leave by the door until daytime temperatures aren't freezing. Not too long ago I brought them inside and forgot to bring them out for almost a whole week. Surprisingly, they didn't break dormancy.


Burl growth can run away quickly! I let several sprouts grow out of this burl and now it's my favorite coastal redwood
I can see why. That base is amazing🤩!!
 

LittleDingus

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I pot them in a regular garden pot and then bury in the ground. Around September, I cut them back and pull out the ground. I then leave them outside unless its freezing day and night. When that happens, I bring them in and leave by the door until daytime temperatures aren't freezing. Not too long ago I brought them inside and forgot to bring them out for almost a whole week. Surprisingly, they didn't break dormancy.

You might try trimming them back a little earlier. They are an elongation species. Trim them back in early August and there may be time for more buds to form for a bushier spring start. They can pretty much be pruned any time though :)

I keep some smaller ones indoors all winter. They slow down a lot just from reduced light. Interestingly, that multi-trunk formed over winter when the seedling grew up against a blue LED and stunted. Baby trees are easier to give lots of light because the lights can be very close. I've had dawn redwoods leaders stunt when they grow too near blue LEDs as well.
 

Bonds Guy

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You might try trimming them back a little earlier. They are an elongation species. Trim them back in early August and there may be time for more buds to form for a bushier spring start.
I'll deff give this a try this season.

I forgot to take a picture of the 3rd redwood, but here's 2 of them (Redwood #1 & Redwood #2). The tips have dieback, because of the really cold windy night last month, but hey, they're in development so no biggie.
Redwood (Coastal) - Offset 3.3.5.JPGRedwood (Coastal) - Quavo 3.2.11.JPG

I repotted Redwood #2 today. Unfortunately, the wood that I used to girdle it rotted some time over the season, thus no flat base☹. I cut out another piece of wood (This time its solid wood rather than that spongy wood) and girdled it again. I think I'm going to like the outcome because it's right next to 3 shoots.
Redwood (Coastal) - Offset 3.2.1.JPGRedwood (Coastal) - Offset 3.2.3.JPGRedwood (Coastal) - Offset 3.2.4.JPG

Here's a picture of #2 at the beginning of spring '21
Redwood (Coastal) - Offset 2.3.1.JPG
 

Lorax7

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What is the purpose of the girdling that you’re doing with the wood? I’m familiar with what girdling means in the context of air layering, but that doesn’t appear to be what you’re doing here. What do you expect the tree to do in response to this technique?
 

Bonds Guy

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What is the purpose of the girdling that you’re doing with the wood? I’m familiar with what girdling means in the context of air layering, but that doesn’t appear to be what you’re doing here. What do you expect the tree to do in response to this technique?
As the tree thickens, the wood will "choke" the tree and in response, the tree will grow new roots. The wood will also prevent the new roots from growing downward.

The last 2 days I been too busy to post, but here's Redwood #3 "repot"
Redwood (Coastal) - Takeoff 3.2.1.JPGRedwood (Coastal) - Takeoff 3.2.2.JPGRedwood (Coastal) - Takeoff 3.2.3.JPGRedwood (Coastal) - Takeoff 3.2.4.JPGRedwood (Coastal) - Takeoff 3.2.5.JPGRedwood (Coastal) - Takeoff 3.2.6.JPGRedwood (Coastal) - Takeoff 3.2.7.JPGRedwood (Coastal) - Takeoff 3.2.8.JPGRedwood (Coastal) - Takeoff 3.2.9.JPG

This one is interesting, because the leaves are a bright green and noticeable smaller than the other 2.
IMG_2865.JPG

For the time being, I potted it in mulch, because the roots were dark and looked unhealthy. I suspected 2 culprits: 1) Soil holds too much water or the cold spell did a number on the root (which seems unlikely because the top growth had little damage). I'll finish the repot when I get some sand.
 

Lorax7

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As the tree thickens, the wood will "choke" the tree and in response, the tree will grow new roots. The wood will also prevent the new roots from growing downward.

The last 2 days I been too busy to post, but here's Redwood #3 "repot"
View attachment 420321View attachment 420322View attachment 420323View attachment 420330View attachment 420331View attachment 420326View attachment 420327View attachment 420328View attachment 420329

This one is interesting, because the leaves are a bright green and noticeable smaller than the other 2.
View attachment 420332

For the time being, I potted it in mulch, because the roots were dark and looked unhealthy. I suspected 2 culprits: 1) Soil holds too much water or the cold spell did a number on the root (which seems unlikely because the top growth had little damage). I'll finish the repot when I get some sand.
So, basically, it sounds like you’re ground layering, but instead of making cuts to remove the cambium layer or a wire tourniquet to crush the cambium layer, you’re using a wood plank that you drilled a hole in and then split in two to accomplish the disruption of the downward flow of hormones and sugars in the phloem while permitting water to rise unhindered in the xylem.
 

Bonds Guy

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So, basically, it sounds like you’re ground layering, but instead of making cuts to remove the cambium layer or a wire tourniquet to crush the cambium layer, you’re using a wood plank that you drilled a hole in and then split in two to accomplish the disruption of the downward flow of hormones and sugars in the phloem while permitting water to rise unhindered in the xylem.
Exactly!
 

Lorax7

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Do you rely solely on the growth of the tree to cause the girdling or do you try to kickstart root growth by making some cuts to the bark above the wood plank to stimulate the tree’s regenerative processes at the site of damage? I’m guessing that you bury the wooden plank with a soil layer for the new roots to grow in. Is that correct?
 

Bonds Guy

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Do you rely solely on the growth of the tree to cause the girdling or do you try to kickstart root growth by making some cuts to the bark above the wood plank to stimulate the tree’s regenerative processes at the site of damage?
The former. Redwooods are vigorous growers so there's no need to cut into the bark.

I’m guessing that you bury the wooden plank with a soil layer for the new roots to grow in. Is that correct?
yeah
 

W3rk

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3 years ago I started some Coastal Redwoods from seed. I forget how many sprouted, but today I have 3 still living. Now before you guys start attacking me about starting from seeds, keep in mind redwoods can't naturally survive in my zone (however, given the way winter is becoming less wintry, they just might be able to in some years). Also, since C. redwoods are endangered, maintaining genetic diversity makes me feel like a good samaritan😇. Anyhoo, back to the saplings, progress has been slow over the 3 years (I had a few things to learn), but since the beginning of spring '21, things are starting to ramp up.

The weather for this week will be tolerable, so to alleviate some of the workload for spring, I decided to repot the redwoods. Redwood #1 is the fastest grower of the 3, so I started with him. Unfortunately, I didn't take photos before girdling it last spring, but I swear it was 2-3mm thick. I'm very pleased with the growth it has put on since then. However, I'm worried this year won't be as prosperous without a sacrifice branch coming right off the base.

C. Redwood #1 (Before)
View attachment 419624View attachment 419625View attachment 419626View attachment 419627

C. Redwood #2 (After)
View attachment 419628View attachment 419629View attachment 419630View attachment 419631

I'm a little worried about this area. I see inverse taper forming. Any suggestions?
View attachment 419632View attachment 419633
I just ordered a few Coastal Redwood seedlings. How do you handle your overwintering? Any other general care tips/suggestions for your climate?
 

Bonds Guy

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I just ordered a few Coastal Redwood seedlings. How do you handle your overwintering? Any other general care tips/suggestions for your climate?
Check post #3 ☝️. Other than that I’d say bring them in if its below -3C but for first year seedlings no frost exposure and keep out of drying winds.
 

Bonds Guy

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In early March we had some dormancy breaking weather. That was followed almost immediately with frigid weather. The last few years it hasn’t snowed much but it certainly did right when we all thought winter was in the past. During that time my redwood were pushing new grow and unfortunately, I didn’t bring them in, in-time to avoid frost damage. Shortly after the dead brown tips were very visible, but the the interior foliage was still very green (thankfully😇🙏).

2 months later, the trees have fully recovered. What surprised me about this recovery is how limited the dieback was and how readily these trees can backbud.

(Sorry if its hard to see the bud. I tried my best to get my phone to focus).

F6D762C1-7A0F-4168-9FE8-304B597DA5B9.jpeg1ED9FEE0-A766-404C-9EF6-9960CF1CBBD0.jpeg

I honestly expected that shoot to die all the way back to the trunk, yet it saved that little bit of the shoot and produce a new bud. This wasn’t limited to just this shoot or even tree but that shoot is where I was going to continue the trunk line for this tree.

I just wanted to share this little surprise with you guys
 

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