Re-location Advice

SKRedwood

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I am new to the bonsai world and last year (September) ordered a Dawn Redwood (5 tree grouping) to get my feet wet. When ordered I lived in San Diego, and although it took until January for the leaves to fall, the trees seemed to do very well. I did my first pruning in February (once I saw the buds starting to break open) and the growth took off.

Last week I moved to Hailey Idaho and I have some concerns I am hoping someone can help with! The temperature here is just now starting to be above freezing at night (between 0-3 Celsius / 32 -38 Fahrenheit). The days have been warm at (13-19 Celsius / 55-65 Fahrenheit))Because of this, I left the bonsai in my garage for the first 3 days to help it acclimate to the new temperature while making sure it (and the new green shoots) were not exposed to sub-freezing temps. I moved it outside last week once the lows were above 3 Celsisu/38 Fahrenheit) and it seemed to be handling it pretty well. It has been getting ample water and southern exposure (roughly 8 hours of sun from 8:00am-4pm). Although the temperature is lower in Idaho than San Diego, the bonsai is probably getting double the amount of sun it was getting while in San Diego. It has been outside in Idaho now for 6 days/nights.

In the last 2 days, the leaves on the outside of the trees have begun to brown slightly. The browning is also occurring on the moss in the pot. Since there are so many new variables, I am not sure what is causing the effect and what steps I should take to make sure the grouping survives the move. Any suggestions? October 2018.jpgApril 2019.jpgApril 2019 Brn Leaves.jpgI have attached some pictures for reference
 
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Thanks for using celsius!
I think most of the issues you describe relate to the increase in sunlight, combined with lower temperatures. That's quite a shock for an organism that tends to see years as we see days.
If the problem doesn't expand after a week or so, you're probably in the clear. If it does, I think the first thing to look at next, would be the water.

As far as I can see, I don't see very alarming things going on.

Moss grown in the shade, or in lower light conditions, can dry out and die if it's exposed to different conditions. Moss is finicky like that. I have some mosses that grow in certain spots in the yard, but not in other locations.
 

SKRedwood

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Thanks for using celsius!
I think most of the issues you describe relate to the increase in sunlight, combined with lower temperatures. That's quite a shock for an organism that tends to see years as we see days.
If the problem doesn't expand after a week or so, you're probably in the clear. If it does, I think the first thing to look at next, would be the water.

As far as I can see, I don't see very alarming things going on.

Moss grown in the shade, or in lower light conditions, can dry out and die if it's exposed to different conditions. Moss is finicky like that. I have some mosses that grow in certain spots in the yard, but not in other locations.

Thanks for the insight!
 

amatbrewer

Shohin
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Welcome to BN and the PNW!
I did a similar transition, admittedly many years ago (~25), I moved from San Diego to Yakima (central Wa).

Not to scare you, because the primary cause was my own stupidity, but ALL of my trees died after the move. The primary cause was lots of really strong direct sun, low humidity, and my failure to ensure proper watering (Did you know trees need water?!?! When did that start, and why didn’t anyone tell me?)

I got a dawn redwood last spring. I found the PNW sun to be a bit much for it and had the same browning you described. I moved it to where it would get partial shade through most of the summer and made sure it got extra water on really hot (>95F) days (but make sure the soil does not stay too wet), and it was happy, happy. I think it almost doubled in size, not entirely sure as I had to chop about a foot off of the top in order to keep in in the shade spot I had available.

So far this year it is shooting up like a weed, but I expect to have to move it into shade in the next month or so.

PS you are not far from Sun Valley…you ski? I got to ski there once and it was amazing!
 

Shibui

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A change from less sun to more will almost always result in sunburn, as it does for our skin but, like our skin adapting to sun levels, leaves can also adapt. The current leaves may be burnt but any that grow should be adapted to the current conditions. Just remove any that are unsightly.
@[U]amatbrewer[/U] has brought up a very good point. It is not only the amount of sun on the leaves but also watering that is important when changing locations. Dawn redwood loves water and should never dry out completely. You will probably need to water more than you are accustomed to. If you are having trouble keeping the pot well watered it will be happy sitting in a shallow tray of water through summer. Not sure how long since this group was repotted but root bound trees get progressively more difficult to water properly. When roots fill all the spaces in the pot water just cannot penetrate even when you water really well. Regular soaking in a container of water can help in these cases.
 

SKRedwood

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Welcome to BN and the PNW!
I did a similar transition, admittedly many years ago (~25), I moved from San Diego to Yakima (central Wa).

Not to scare you, because the primary cause was my own stupidity, but ALL of my trees died after the move. The primary cause was lots of really strong direct sun, low humidity, and my failure to ensure proper watering (Did you know trees need water?!?! When did that start, and why didn’t anyone tell me?)

I got a dawn redwood last spring. I found the PNW sun to be a bit much for it and had the same browning you described. I moved it to where it would get partial shade through most of the summer and made sure it got extra water on really hot (>95F) days (but make sure the soil does not stay too wet), and it was happy, happy. I think it almost doubled in size, not entirely sure as I had to chop about a foot off of the top in order to keep in in the shade spot I had available.

So far this year it is shooting up like a weed, but I expect to have to move it into shade in the next month or so.

PS you are not far from Sun Valley…you ski? I got to ski there once and it was amazing!

Thanks for the welcome and the good points. Yeah, skiing was one of the reasons for the move, but all the outdoor options here are endless!
 

SKRedwood

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A change from less sun to more will almost always result in sunburn, as it does for our skin but, like our skin adapting to sun levels, leaves can also adapt. The current leaves may be burnt but any that grow should be adapted to the current conditions. Just remove any that are unsightly.
@[U]amatbrewer[/U] has brought up a very good point. It is not only the amount of sun on the leaves but also watering that is important when changing locations. Dawn redwood loves water and should never dry out completely. You will probably need to water more than you are accustomed to. If you are having trouble keeping the pot well watered it will be happy sitting in a shallow tray of water through summer. Not sure how long since this group was repotted but root bound trees get progressively more difficult to water properly. When roots fill all the spaces in the pot water just cannot penetrate even when you water really well. Regular soaking in a container of water can help in these cases.

I have been watering multiple times per day, but I had no idea a plant could sunburn. My plan is to re-pot it prior to next spring (assuming it lives that long)! I've moved it back slightly from the balcony edge to reduce the sun at the peak hours. I'll make sure it has plenty of water and cross my fingers!
 

plant_dr

Chumono
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Other factors could be the elevation change and also humidity change. San Diego is right at sea level and Hailey is over 5300 feet (1.62 km) above sea level. Your tree is used to having alot more atmosphere protecting it from the suns rays, so not only has the length of sunlight increased but also the intensity. Especially if you account for going from California's big city pollution to crystal clear mountain air. I'm not sure if the amount that of oxygen at sea level vs. a mile high would make that much of a difference, but it might. The humidity is significantly lower, so that would contribute to dry your tree out too.
 

amatbrewer

Shohin
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the outdoor options here are endless!
Yeah, family and friends often ask why we stay in this backwards town (our plan was to be here for only 5 years). The low cost of living and the amazing outdoor recreation is just too hard to give up. It does not hurt that the local brewpub scene is exploding and we are finally getting some almost passable restaurants.
 

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