What to do with these Dawn Redwoods.....

Redwood Ryan

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Hey all! I've got 2 Dawn Redwoods that I receveived from Brussel's Bonsai Nursery back in the summer. The first one I got had a broken pot, so they replaced the tree and pot, whcih te second tree had a broken pot as well. They ended up refunding my my entire purchase and I ended up with 2 Dawn Redwood trees. I was thinking of doing a 2 tree planting, but that's about all that was going through my mind. What ele should I do with these 2? I know they should probably be shortened, but when is the time to do that? When should I repot (they are in horrible soil), and prune and all that stuff? I'm not new to this, I just don't want to kill these 2. I don't normally work with conifers. Any advice or virts or anything is welcome! Thanks!

Tree #1:



Tree #2:



Ryan

P.S. We just had our first snow yesterday, which hasn't melted yet, and that is why you see the snow in the pots.
 

Tachigi

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Induce taper or graft the bases together for a twin
 

Redwood Ryan

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Good idea with the twin trunk, but how do I get started doing that? Thanks!
 
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Tachigi

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Pretty simple procedure Ryan. In the spring bare root your DRs, find a good merge spot if the two were pushed together. There will be some give and take here as a good front is always important. You will need to cut away the base/nebari to make these two fit like a glove. Make clean edges on your cut marks and marry the cambium together. Next you will need to secure these two pieces. If the base is big enough clamp them together and drive a small finish screw, below the soil line, to secure them. Or you can use grafting tape "if" it will hold the union tightly together. Bottom line is the two cambium edges need two match to exactly for a quick bond.

If it doesn't mate after due diligence...don't disturb it as it will graft on its own over time as long as they can't push away from each other...just like in nature. However this second way will take some considerable time, but save your two trees from being scared.
 

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Redwood Ryan

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Okay, I think you lost me. When you mentioned finding a merge spot, do I cut 2 straight edges and push the trees together then tape?
 

Tachigi

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Okay, I think you lost me. When you mentioned finding a merge spot, do I cut 2 straight edges and push the trees together then tape?
As the image indicates you need to cut both trunks so they slide together for a perfect union. That maybe a straight line (but most likely not) or it maybe a zig zag.

Example: Ball your fists together, now place them together firmly knuckle to knuckle. Then slide one hand either forward or backward till your knuckles sit next to each other in the space in between. Now look at them...you should be seeing a good union, though the union line is not straight.

So you may have to nibble a bit at a time to get these trees to align exactly.
 

Redwood Ryan

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And the best way to do that is with a saw I'm assuming. So, in the spring pull them out, bare root, cut until they merge, then tape together and plant. Sounds easy, but I'm sure it's not. When is the best time to repot? Thanks so much! You are so helpful!
 

Tachigi

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Ryan, to remove bulk you can use a saw, for the finish fit I have found knob cutters work the best. Nibble away to get that good union. This procedure should happen after the buds have opened but the foliage has not hardened off. Its a bit later than a normal repot but your tree will be awake and ready to rumble. The graft will be ready to go from day one.
 

Redwood Ryan

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Thanks Tom, I am really nervous about it, but I will give it a shot. The trees are a bit tall, should I shorten them before doing any of this?
 

Tachigi

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Since they need to be bulked up a bit, and the stress of the graft. I would wait a season before inflicting anymore insult ;) Energy directed at the callous will be more efficient if its not doing it in multiple spots
 

Redwood Ryan

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Thanks so much Tom. I will wait until late winter?, early spring, to do as mentioned. Wish me luck, I need it. If I do it wrong, I could kill the trees corret? Thanks!


Ryan
 

ml_work

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Ryan,
what Tom is telling you sounds good, it's just way over my head. When I purchase a new tree I give it the first year just to grow and just see what it will do. I purchased a DR just like yours from Brussels a couple of years ago (by the way I am surprised you got 2 broken pots as they ship/pack very good) and it was slow the first spring, but filled out very nice the next year. It was my understanding it was not much "shaping" you could do to a DR.
Have A Great Day!
Michael
 
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Best suggestion I've seen in a thread in quite awhile, good thinking Tom. The taper issue will still need to be resolved on the twin trunks eventually as well, but merging will be a good start.





Will
 

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If you plan to fuse the trunks, delay the trunk chops and hard pruning.

In the future, though, these trees are not only too tall, but one appears to be pushing a lot of clusterd branching all along the trunk --especially at the top. Not unnusual with fast growers like Dawn Redwoods.

However, if left alone, all those branches developing from the same spots will cause swelling. Pick the best positioned in a cluster eliminate the remainder.

I'd trunk chop these when the time comes, at least halfway down and grow on a new apex that would wind up being only a few inches of extension...
 

Redwood Ryan

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Thanks Rock.I agree about the cluster of branches. They annoy me a lot. Should I fuse them first? Or should the first project be trunk chopping? I would reall love for them to be shorter. Thanks so much everyone! These trees need as much help as possible!
 

Tachigi

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Ryan, It was my understanding it was not much "shaping" you could do to a DR.

Michael
Michael you can do more with the movement than you think :D ... unless your a purist and think DRs should resemble telephone poles.

The one below was recently yanked from the grow field and will see a training pot this spring.
 

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Attila Soos

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... unless your a purist and think DRs should resemble telephone poles.
Yep, that's me.
I wouldn't dream of styling them other than formal upright.....or formal upright/literati.
But, if I want to be more creative, I can imagine a redwood exposed to accidents of nature, having its trunk broken, stripped, lightning-stricken, or burned down and re-grown. So, the trunk doesn't have to be straight from bottom to top, but it should reflect the fact that a redwood (no matter which kind) always resumes its relentless vertical growth.

Don't ask me why. I just find it repulsive to see them styled with curvy trunks (until someone's work convinces me otherwise, which I have yet to see). It's like trying to train a Rotweiler to be a lapdog: you can do it but it's not a pretty sight :).
 
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Attila Soos

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The one below was recently yanked from the grow field and will see a training pot this spring.
This is what I'm talking about: the Rotweiler trying hard to become a lapdog..:D
Or here is a better one: you accidentally poured some whiskey into the watering can and the poor tree lost its sense of direction.
My personal view is that nature did not create the DR to look like bonsai... redwoods and S-trunks don't mix well.

But anyone who loves redwood with S-trunks, no reason to listen to me. You would not undestand why I would say such a thing, anyway.
 
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Klytus

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There are several dotted about town,the strange thing is that Pigeons have chosen one to roost in although there are many other trees in the vicinity including another Dawn redwood.

This roost tree has substantially less leaves than the others so i wonder if they eat them or perhaps the droppings are causing a problem.

Another peculiarity of the wildlife is that the grey squirrels do not like jam doughnut but they do like Florentines.

The finest specimen is occupying a thin strip of flowerbed in the Old Sugar Loaf car park,it's hemmed in by Tarmac.

The others are all in open parkland and seem to be doing less well.
 

Tachigi

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Greetings Attila,
While I adjust my hockey helmet let me just say that your always full of surprises and definitely one that is hard to get a handle on. :)


I wouldn't dream of styling them other than formal upright.....or formal upright/literati.
But, if I want to be more creative, I can imagine a redwood exposed to accidents of nature, having its trunk broken, stripped, lightning-stricken, or burned down and re-grown. So, the trunk doesn't have to be straight from bottom to top, but it should reflect the fact that a redwood (no matter which kind) always resumes its relentless vertical growth.

Don't ask me why. I just find it repulsive to see them styled with curvy trunks (until someone's work convinces me otherwise, which I have yet to see). It's like trying to train a Rotweiler to be a lapdog: you can do it but it's not a pretty sight :).
For the "NORM" no argument from me its simple and safe. I also appreciate your geographical local to these trees in nature and how your mental image must be cemented in place.

However, for a guy who is pretty articulate about art and its concepts, I am surprised to say the least. Is there no room in your imagination to use a specific piece of material to create a image unrelated to what it looks like in nature. Surely you have junipers...well....you know where I'm going and if not we can revisit Collecting Trees from Nature for Bonsai though I prefer not to.

You finding it repulsive is your choice, nothing wrong with that, its your choice. However playing to a trees other attributes other than its trunk and how it can be presented is worth the effort to explore.

A good case in point would be my wisteria that was presented in the pot contest a few years ago. Go here for a refresher. In that thread Bill V stated
But before I can select a container, the Wisteria should be planted at a different angle. Slanting and the cascade style are the best for Wisteria and other species which have hanging flowers in order to appreciate their long elegant form.
I respect Bill very much and to him this was appropriate approach based on his personal experience. However there was another way to highlight a non trunk feature in the same way with out pigeon holing a tree into a specific style by extending the branches letting the racines cascade downward right outside the lip of the pot.


This is what I'm talking about: the Rotweiler trying hard to become a lapdog..:D
Or here is a better one: you accidentally poured some whiskey into the watering can and the poor tree lost its sense of direction.
My personal view is that nature did not create the DR to look like bonsai... redwoods and S-trunks don't mix well.

But anyone who loves redwood with S-trunks, no reason to listen to me. You would not undestand why I would say such a thing, anyway.
I thought your first post succinctly expressed your thoughts ...but since you put it out here

You can't have ever lived in the tundra where I do...other wise you'd appreciate a Rotty as a lapdog :p

You should of stuck with the Rotty, your attempt at one upping yourself with regard to whiskey in the watering can wasn't as good. However you did hit on a key possible explanation. Possibly it did fall over in one of your notorious quakes and was trying to find its direction. I offer that to try to appease your sensibilities ;)

Finally I would say that this is hardly an "S" shape as I'm familiar with. Sure you haven't been sipping on the water can? Though a 2D image can be deceiving when snapped at random.

Attila rest assured that this isn't the norm. I grow these and when you see them in the field lined up like toy soldiers ram rod straight row after row you tilt your head and think to yourself .... I wonder if
 
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