Dawn Redwood Tips
Below are the list of tips we typically cover with most people who call or email. If you have any more questions, feel free to reach out anytime.
Planting Seed: We have a video demonstration here.
Watering: I like to keep my pots in a container with an inch of water. This way the soil absorbs the water as it needs. I am attaching a picture to demonstrate.
Light: The Dawn Redwood will need 3-4 hours of good sunlight or supplemental light as it grows. Fluorescent light works great if you have it and need more light.
Fertilizing: For fertilizing, I like to use a general fertilizer mixed at half strength and fertilize every 2 weeks. I am using Miracle Grow water soluble on mine right now.
Transplanting: My advice to most people is to cut the pot away from the soil with the seedlings growing and carefully place the 3 clumps of trees in the square container. Once they are in there, back-fill the container with the remaining soil and water it all the way through. I usually let them grow for another month after transplanting and then I pick out the 5 strongest looking trees and snip out the rest of the trees at the soil line. You cold also gently pluck them out and plant them in a different container if they come out with roots. This is the easiest method.
These trees are large enough to transplant. They are 5 months old and we have 15 to transplant.
A little more advanced is to break the trees apart in the soil and transplant them individually into the soil. If you do this, just make sure to plant the trees to the same soil height on the trunk. I am attaching a picture to demonstrate this method. Once they are all in, water all the way through to eliminate any air pockets. The dawn redwood love damp soil as they grow. If you have remaining trees, you can plant in other pots.
Dormancy: Your trees will go dormant as they are deciduous. For the dormancy, I would just allow them to go dormant when they decide. Since they were planted indoors and not necessarily at the same time as they would begin to grow outside seasonally, they could go dormant at odd times. I have had some go dormant in the summer and spring and bud in December the first year. Once they get established, they will start to get on a more natural cycle. I am also attaching a pic of the trees losing their needles so you can see what they look like. People sometimes think they died, but it is normal. During this time, they don't need fertilizer or as much watering. I am attaching a pic to show what they look like as the needles fall.
Needles Browning and Falling Budding out and putting on new branches
Pruning: For pruning, you have a couple choices. This is where the fun and creativity in bonsai comes in. You want to start shaping your trees. You can cut the branch off completely back to the trunk and let it bud out there again. This encourages more branching from the trunk. You can also cut the branches back and new branches will start to bud out behind the cut. I am attaching 2 pictures to demonstrate. On the branch cut image, you can see new branch buds starting right by where the cut was made a few weeks before. On the truck cut, you can see new branch buds starting at the trunk.
Trunk Cut: Branch Cut:
Dawn Redwood Forest after 8 months pictured below:
Dawn Redwood Forest after 1 year pictured below.