Dawn Redwood forest browning leaves

Looking for advice on why the lower leaves have been turning brown and what to do about it. The tips of the leaves are green and there are new green buds, but as you can see in the photos, the lower fronds have browned.

This is the 4th summer for the trees and the first time I’ve experienced this. Roots grew through the holes in the pot into the rocks of the evaporation tray underneath, which was often wet. I have cut them off and removed the tray. They may be root bound or the roots in the tray may have started some root rot. I think watering has been consistent with prior years, but now wondering if I’m over or under watering.
Any suggestions woul be appreciated.
Thanks!

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Have you by chance checked the roots? I had something similar a year or two ago, and it was root aphids

Thanks, I will check and do some research on root aphids.

Dawn redwood will sometimes do that if it gets dried out or from sun/wind but I’d expect that to be at the tips, not the base of the branches like that. Checking roots is a good idea.
Also, are you near the wildfires? They can be sensitive to bad air quality and mine had a similar reaction when the wood smoke was bad last year.

I’m in Minnesota (Saint Paul) so no wildfires, just urban air. I’m considering repotting, but getting late in our growing season here for that. Thanks.

Yeah I’d let them go ahead and drop their leaves and everything then yank em up over the winter and see what’s going on under the soil.

I’d guess the tree dried out. Fortunately the rest of the leaves are looking good. I’d watch the watering carefully this fall and aim to repot next spring.

Thanks. I thought I was on top of watering, but will be more careful. Fortunately, it seems to be recovering now (and is one of my favorites).

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