Redwood family progression

LittleDingus

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This is my redwood family from almost exactly 1 year ago. August 15, 2019 by the timestamp on the photo.

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The far left is a dawn redwood I had planted from seed back in January of 2019. The middle is a coastal redwood and the far right is a giant sequioa. Both were bought as plugs when the weather warmed so roughly April/May 2019 I forget exactly.

This is the same family photo almost exactly 1 year later. August 22, 2020 by the timestamp on the photo ;)

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The towel in the background is the same towel in both photos. The bottle of Marsala for scale is long gone :( I've substituted a more standard tape measure to avoid this problem in the future!

I'm actually only noticed the difference because google photos pointed out the old photo to me. I was just thinking the other day that I was disappointed in how much the sequoia had grown because it doesn't seem to change much. Turns out it's kinda like your children. If you look at them every day, you don't notice the little changes. But when you go to grandma's house who hasn't seen them in a while she exclaims "My, look how you've grown!"

All are grown in grow bags. I up-potted them from 1 gallon to 3 gallon in the spring. All are in Napa 8822 with some smallish percentage of chunk coconut coif because I feel it helps bind the oil dry so it's not so loose until the roots can help fix it. All are watered frequently and heavily especially when the temps are above 90F. The coastal and dawn redwoods get a misting most every day. I try not to mist the sequoia.
 

zanduh

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Do you give them all full sun? I read up everything I could a while back on giant sequoia and what I got out of it was that once the top of the tree started getting full sun the growth of the tree would shift from very fast height to very fast girth.

Definitely on my list to grow some redwoods and love the look of yours
 

LittleDingus

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Do you give them all full sun? I read up everything I could a while back on giant sequoia and what I got out of it was that once the top of the tree started getting full sun the growth of the tree would shift from very fast height to very fast girth.

Definitely on my list to grow some redwoods and love the look of yours

Yes, full sun...but not all day.

Those trees all get full sun dawn til 3ish. I have 2 other sequoia bought as seedling plugs at the same time as that sequoia that get full afternoon sun from noonish til sunset. They aren't growing quite as fast. They are also more green/yellow wheras this one is more blue. I don't know if that's genetics or the difference between cooler morning sun and hotter afternoon sun. They are otherwise in the same media and on the same water/fertilizer schedules.
 

LittleDingus

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Winter is coming...so I spent part of the day preparing!

I can't fit my car in the garage, but I cleaned off a shelf and hung some lights and checked that my coastal redwoods all fit.

20201018_153617.jpg20201018_145315.jpg

I hung 2 Phlizon LED lights for 5 coastal redwoods. These are the same lights I had in a 2'x4' grow tent for them last winter.


I hung them off to the side and at an angle to cover more of the foliage (and to not shine in my eyes when I park!) I intend to turn the trees a bit every time I water them. Last year I watered the redwoods every 3-4 days but they were also in a grow tent last year. They don't fit this year. I'm not convinced I even need the lights. Coastal redwoods are evergreen, but I believe photosynthesis cuts out below about 45F so I'm not sure they're doing much with the light anyway.

Because they don't fit in the grow tent, I'm a little worried about lower temps and humidity this year. The heat from the lights was enough to keep the enclosed area 5-10 degrees warmer than outside the tent most days. It also helped keep the humidity higher. The humidity would get as high as 55-60% some days inside the tent. I may have to see about hanging some plastic. Or maybe I'll put some seedling heat mats under the trees to keep the roots warmer and drive some moisture into the air. We'll see.

These guys don't need to be inside just yet. We're still above 40F most nights. I might do the 2-step for a while. but wanted to see how everybody fit and if I need to make adjustments.

Most of the junk under the shelf will get cleaned out for my live oaks that need some winter protection also.

For completeness, here are some of the rest of the family getting ready for winter. Dawn on the left, sequoia on the right:

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I've got other dawn redwood and sequoia sprinkled around...so not quite the full family on display. The dawns and sequoias will all winter outside. If we get an ice storm, I'll probably try to move them in to save some broken branches but otherwise, they are on their own again.

This will we the 3rd winter for everybody. So far I haven't lost any of this set of trees to winter care. Hopefully the streak continues!!
 

hemmy

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All are watered frequently and heavily especially when the temps are above 90F.
Redwoods in Kansas?! I have so many questions. You said the Giant Sequoia gets full sun. But do you protect the coastal S. sempervirens from high summer temps (e.g., shade cloth and misting) or do they also get full sun?

You also said the Giant Sequoia stays out in winter, but do you protect the roots when temps drop below the 20s?
 

drawnbyjared

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Wow, that's a lot of growth! I finally found a dawn redwood for a good price, but he's pretty small, this gives me hope that it won't take forever to get him bigger and thicker.
I've also been using Napa 8822 in my other plants I started this year, glad to see it's working well for you, I need to get some of that coconut coir though!
 

LittleDingus

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Redwoods in Kansas?! I have so many questions. You said the Giant Sequoia gets full sun. But do you protect the coastal S. sempervirens from high summer temps (e.g., shade cloth and misting) or do they also get full sun?

You also said the Giant Sequoia stays out in winter, but do you protect the roots when temps drop below the 20s?

I currently have 5 sequoia sempervirens. 2 are cultivars the other 3 are generic. I keep them on my deck up against the house. They get full sun from dawn until about 2PM when the house starts to shade them. We are up on a hill so there is nothing blocking the eastern horizon. The house sits facing south east so we do get full sun along that side of the house until past after noon.

They've taken our summer heat surprisingly well! Their foliage is coarser than the dawn redwoods. If I don't water enough, the dawns seem to wilt and stress before the coastals do. If it's really hot, I fill the drip tray with an inch or so of water...that seems to help. Being the covid era, I've also been working from home so could mist them if they looked stressed. I always wet the foliage whenever I water them.

Even at that, there were a couple of times the apex wilted and sagged on one or two of them and they looked obviously stressed. Usually because I missed a watering because I was away or otherwise distracted. Once they got decent water again, they perked back up.

I also have 5 sequoiadendron giganteum at the moment. Again, 2 cultivars and 3 generics. I really should post pictures of everybody and not just my favorites :)

Last winter they sat on the ground behind the landscaping on the north west side of the house. I tried to keep them out of the drying wind as much as possible, but otherwise didn't heel the in or mulch them in any way. The root ball definitely froze. We did have some sub 0 temps last winter...I don't recall for how long. The rest of the winter was comparatively mild for KC though. I haven't decided what to do with them this winter yet. I'd like to just leave them outside all winter again, but I've become rather attached to the one pictured above. I love the bluish hue it has...I'd hate to lose it! I might panic and move it into the garage if the temps dip much below 10F. They survive to at least 10F in their native range but I don't know how much below that they can tolerate for how long so might be prudent to just play it safe with my favorites anyway ;)
 

LittleDingus

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Wow, that's a lot of growth! I finally found a dawn redwood for a good price, but he's pretty small, this gives me hope that it won't take forever to get him bigger and thicker.
I've also been using Napa 8822 in my other plants I started this year, glad to see it's working well for you, I need to get some of that coconut coir though!
The dawns are one of my favorite trees :D I've been growing them for a few decades now although all the ones I have currently are very young :( I had some much larger trees before we moved to KC but various situations happened and I don't have them any more :( I had one in the landscape growing out that I wish I could have pulled when we moved. It went from a tree about the size of yours to taller than the house in a couple of years!

If you want faster growth, put it in a bigger pot and keep them wet. Not quite bald cypress sit in puddle of water wet...but they can be thirsty little weeds! I use these


which provide some of the benefits of colanders with air pruning...they aren't as effective as colanders, but they work well enough for me and I get great growth with NAPA 8822 in them...plus they're fairly cheap and seem to outlast most colanders so...bonus ;)

The coir I use is not this brand...I don't have a label from mine to know the brand for sure. I get mine from a local nursery. But it is the chunky type more like this


and NOT the fine ground stuff that's more common to find and often used as a seedling mix. I think the fine stuff mixed with NAPA would clog up and be problematic. I mostly add the coir for the fiber...it seems to help bind the NAPA a little better until the roots can grow and start to adhere and stabilize the soil. It also seems to help the water wick through the NAPA rather than form water channels with dry pockets.

It is a little tough to mix, but I don't stress over it. I've also used fir bark from the pet store (for lining reptile cages) for the same purpose...to stabilize the media while the tree's roots establish and to help wick moisture to prevent dry pockets. Fir bark is a little easier to mix.

I will caution the coir breaks down quickly. Just be aware. I've yet to have problems with it but I've only been using that mix for a couple of years now.

I'd be interested in seeing how much growth that guy puts on next growing season! Your season is much shorter than mine up there in Michigan though...
 

drawnbyjared

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I'd be interested in seeing how much growth that guy puts on next growing season! Your season is much shorter than mine up there in Michigan though...
Me too, wishing I had nicer weather for longer here! It'll be my first full growing season as I got all my plants since August. Definitely going to repot in the spring to the grow bags for several trees, and I'll try out the coir. I had been looking for bark fines, hadn't thought about getting them from the pet store, I'll take a look there. Thanks for the detailed response!
 

LittleDingus

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We've had a bit of a warm spell with nights above 50F for just over a week or so. The sempervirens got moved back outside in front of the garage to take advantage of the good weather and enjoy some more sun until the freezing temps return.

When moving them back outside for the week, I noticed some interesting growth on the 'filoli'. It looks like it's preparing to flower?!?

20201108_080251.jpg20201107_164152.jpg

This past May, I bought the 'filoli' along with a few other cultivars from


It's a rooted cutting. There were dried up male flowers from previous seasons...I presume from before the cutting was struck but I don't know that for sure.

I might be jumping the gun on the flower thing having never seen a redwood flower in person. These new growths are different in color and shape from growth patterns I'm used to seeing on my other redwoods, however. It could be growth related to this cultivar of which I am less familiar. If they are flowers, those above should be the males.

These I'm less certain are flowers, but they would be the females if they are:

20201108_080338.jpg

If anyone with more first hand knowledge of these could confirm/refute if these are early flowers, I'd greatly appreciate it :) Normally, I'd take the wait and see approach, but these trees will need to come back into the garage and out of the freeze in another day or two...that may end up being stressful enough these buds never develop regardless of what type of growth this is :(

Here is a picture of the parent tree:

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I love how "blue" this cultivar is, but it seems to have a shaggier, almost weeping, habit that I don't care so much for.
 
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Definitely concur about Crowfoot Nursery.

I got these 4 Redwoods (dug in for the winter) from them and they are all trunking up over 1.3” in the past two years.

Cheers
DSD
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LittleDingus

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By last fall, this dawn redwood was large enough that the wind was constantly knocking it over. Basically, the foliage was a big parachute! I was continually propping things around the base to try and keep it upright but, there was the inevitable gust of wind that knocked it over again and again.

I'd still like it to thicken more...how much more, I haven't decided, but more. So, I thought I would pot it up from the 5 gallon grow bag it is currently in up to a 7 gallon bag...and maybe take an inch or two off the potting depth while I was at it.

Here's where it started.

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I did comb out the surface roots and trimmed off one or two girdling roots. But the nerabi is not much to speak of:

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When I think redwood, I don't think nebari but I may have to do something to get some decent flare at some point.

I turned down the sides of the 7 gallon pot to make the depth a bit lower than what I had the tree in in the 5 gallon bag. I ended up shaving about an inch off the top of the root ball and about another inch off the bottom. Now that it's in the new bag, I'm wishing I would have taken a little more off the bottom and moved it up to a 10 gallon bag instead.

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That may be something I end up doing before the summer is over just because looking at it now, I'm not sure the surface area of the bottom has increased enough to keep it from tipping over once it grows out another season's growth.

Since I had already made a mess of the garage floor, I went ahead and potted up one of my 2 year old redwoods as well. I took much more off the bottom of this one.

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PA_Penjing

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the nerabi is not much to speak of:
Seems to me the nebari is exactly where you want it, at this stage. Big roots too early can be a pain to deal with. You seem to enjoy the growing process as much as I do haha. If it's a species I enjoy, just watching it grow can be half the fun. Maybe consider throwing a bald cypress or cryptomeria into the redwood family. Plenty of cultivars to be collected for those two as well
 

LittleDingus

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Seems to me the nebari is exactly where you want it, at this stage. Big roots too early can be a pain to deal with. You seem to enjoy the growing process as much as I do haha. If it's a species I enjoy, just watching it grow can be half the fun. Maybe consider throwing a bald cypress or cryptomeria into the redwood family. Plenty of cultivars to be collected for those two as well

Lol...I have 5 bald cypress I germinated from cones I picked up while walking the trail around my office buildings campus :D They were germinated this past spring. I stopped at 5...I could just as easily had a hundred. People everywhere grow bald cypress as landscape trees here.

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Over the weekend, I finally found a place to source some glyptostrobus pensilis...Chinese swamp cypress. I could never find seed but finally found a nursery here in the US that sells 1 gallon pots: Woodlanders? I had never heard of them before...not that that means anything. But I just got the tracking numbers today so hopefully that works out :)

Unless I find some interesting quirk of any of the other extended redwoods, that might be it then!

And yeah, it's all about the journey for me :) I had a nice tree collection about 12 years ago that I was growing out for retirement someday. We moved and I left most of those behind. I'm about 10 years out from retirement now, so I figured I better get my arse in gear and get some things growing so I have something to do during retirement ;)
 
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Looks like you are doing well so far!

Creating a wide base and getting your roots in line is key for now. Keep growing the tree out fast to get a larger caliper. You want room to grow out.

These guys need pinching back and even respond well to a bit of shearing at this point. But just enough so the branches don’t get out of control as you want lots of solar panels to grow fast.

Another idea it’s to see if you can keep good sun exposure on those lowest branches so they can help thicken the lower trunk.

Cheers
DSD sends
 

LittleDingus

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Looks like you are doing well so far!

Creating a wide base and getting your roots in line is key for now. Keep growing the tree out fast to get a larger caliper. You want room to grow out.

These guys need pinching back and even respond well to a bit of shearing at this point. But just enough so the branches don’t get out of control as you want lots of solar panels to grow fast.

Another idea it’s to see if you can keep good sun exposure on those lowest branches so they can help thicken the lower trunk.

Cheers
DSD sends

My long term dream goal with this "family" is one of each dawn, coastal and sequoia roughly to scale with one another in height. For that project, I'm not sure I care to get the rest of the tree (canopy, branching, trunk girth, etc...) fully in proportion...mostly I want to emphasize the relative heights when they are placed near one another.

I haven't decided on my end scale...that will partly depend on how patient I can be, what kind of room I have to grow them out, and if I can even keep the coastals alive long enough to get to something reasonable! Realistically, it probably needs to be something like 1":5' or else the dawns will be too short, I think. At 1":5', the dawn would need to be roughly 20"-25" tall for a champion tree. That puts the sequoia and coastal closer to 70"-75" tall.

I'm fine with that for height but that means like a 6" trunk for the coastal. That's a bit unrealistic for growing in a pot in the midwest :(

I have been paying more attention to sun exposures this past year though. My sequoia had the lower trunk shadowed out and dropped one or two of its lower branches. This past summer, I kept it placed so more light could reach the bottom of the trunk. It started to grow back a few branches. I may trim the top back this year and wire the new branches upwards a bit to try and encourage them to fill in. I've got a similar bar section of trunk on the dawn that I've been trying to encourage budding on.

Ultimately, I think I will grow the coastal and sequoia with the bottom trunk bare, but the dawn I'd like to keep more in natural the teardrop shape, I think.
 

PA_Penjing

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Keeping lower branches on DR is what gives them those crazy buttresses. I can tell you from experience that if you prune the lowest branches off a Dawn they will look like telephone poles. I have one in my landscape from seed and it has a nice muscley base about 7 or 8" across in 5 years where as my friend also has a landscape DR from seed but he wanted to be able to mow/walk/do mushrooms underneath it wihtout hitting his head. Now the tree is extremely tall and much much older than mine but probably only 2 or 3 inches wider with zero taper. I mean... that's kind of how trees work in general but it is REALLY pronounced in metasequoia
 

Brad in GR

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Keeping lower branches on DR is what gives them those crazy buttresses. I can tell you from experience that if you prune the lowest branches off a Dawn they will look like telephone poles. I have one in my landscape from seed and it has a nice muscley base about 7 or 8" across in 5 years where as my friend also has a landscape DR from seed but he wanted to be able to mow/walk/do mushrooms underneath it wihtout hitting his head. Now the tree is extremely tall and much much older than mine but probably only 2 or 3 inches wider with zero taper. I mean... that's kind of how trees work in general but it is REALLY pronounced in metasequoia
Can agree with this. One landscape tree with lower branching, one without. Different is substantial.

love this project - I don’t have any giant sequoia but I have a similar setup for my coastal redwoods ... keep us posted!
 

LittleDingus

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Keeping lower branches on DR is what gives them those crazy buttresses. I can tell you from experience that if you prune the lowest branches off a Dawn they will look like telephone poles. I have one in my landscape from seed and it has a nice muscley base about 7 or 8" across in 5 years where as my friend also has a landscape DR from seed but he wanted to be able to mow/walk/do mushrooms underneath it wihtout hitting his head. Now the tree is extremely tall and much much older than mine but probably only 2 or 3 inches wider with zero taper. I mean... that's kind of how trees work in general but it is REALLY pronounced in metasequoia

We had one in the ground at our old house that I didn't gat the chance to lift when we sold :( It was 5 years old and 12'-15' tall and had some nice flare developing. And yes, it had its lower branches still :)

What I really like about metasequoia is that they start to look melted with age. The branches start to form "armpits" as the veins around them thicken. You cannot get that look from surface grown branches...the branches have to start deep in the tree!

Unfortunately, I'll never get a tree with enough girth to have pits growing them in pots :( I am hoping for some basal flare though.
 

LittleDingus

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Over the weekend, I finally found a place to source some glyptostrobus pensilis...Chinese swamp cypress. I could never find seed but finally found a nursery here in the US that sells 1 gallon pots: Woodlanders? I had never heard of them before...not that that means anything. But I just got the tracking numbers today so hopefully that works out :)

My Chinese swamp cypress arrived!

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The roots on these things bigger than the trunks!

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They arrived as a ball of soil in a plastic bag. The soil was mostly a mulched bark/wood chip of some kind. Most of it washed away with just a dip and a shake in the bucket. Then into NAPA 8822 with some fir bark mixed in.

20210122_125840.jpg

I don't have any experience with these guys...lots of experience with semi-related bald cypress and dawn redwood, but none with these. My goal is to get them through a year then re-evaluate where I want to go with them.

I don't really consider them part of my redwood family in terms of this project, but thought I'd post that they arrived since I had made mention that I had ordered some.
 

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