Dawn Redwood progression

(Darth Masiah) #1

i ordered this dawn redwood from Brussels Bonsai a few years ago looking for something to experiment on. i was just starting my bonsai hobby and didn’t have any trees yet. i also bought a koto hime maple, and started trying to collect yamadori. i think this guy was around 4 years old when i got it. i started watering once a day and feeding liquid ferts every two weeks.





(Darth Masiah) #2


repotted with brussels bonsai soil and decided to try to improve the nebari with a ground layer. i thought i could use the plastic to serve as my tile to keep the roots growing horizontally and to pinch the trunk for some extra swell. the trunk just healed over the layer but this prep work paid off down the road.









cleaned up some ugly scars



(Darth Masiah) #3

the leader was really taking off this year. i noticed the trunk thickening a little so i knew the plastic would finally start cutting in and i could go ahead with my layer. i was going to wait till the leaves were hardened off, though.

finally redid that layer. the plastic was cutting in very nicely.

new roots were spotted and the swelling had begun


still putting out new roots so i added some more soil for protection


when i repot this guy in the spring im going to get rid of the old roots below the layer and cut back to a new leader. one of these two shoots below my index will thicken the trunk up even more in the next two years. i like the first three branches. hopefully i can figure out how to develop them more.

(Frank Corrigan) #4

Nice progression thanks for posting! I appreciate the detail and timing.

(Jonas Dupuich) #5

Wow, that’s a lot of progress! At some point I imagine you’ll trim back the branches before they get too thick and to encourage some branch division. Will be curious to see how the roots look when you remove the layer. Thanks for sharing!

(Darth Masiah) #6

heres a video i made after noticing the roots coming out of the side of the trunk. i cant wait to repot this guy!

(Darth Masiah) #7

thanks. you think i should add more pics then that to my progressions? because i take A LOT of pics.

(Jonas Dupuich) #8

Ha - it’s great to see the progress in such detail. Maybe fewer shots, with a concrete point for each, will be plenty.

(Frank Corrigan) #9

LOL. Ditto! Great suggestion from Jonas!

(Darth Masiah) #10

i was thinking about the future

i wanted more movement in these branches before i cut them back in the spring. i think it would have been safer for the new buds and slipping cambium if I’d have wired in winter, but im pretty careful. maybe the extra time to set till next growing season will be helpful. as soon as the wire starts biting in im going to switch to guy wires for the rest of the year.

spots im going to cut back to

1, then maybe 2 if no backbuds

(Frank Corrigan) #11

Interesting! So i asked myself. Self? With the larger foliage type of Dawn Redwood how tall is this bonsai ? How much is it possible to reduce the foliage? Is it just me or what role could those lower branches play in design? I truly get the changing leader aspect for taper and a more upright form, but i am confused by the lower branches as they appear to be just a few inches off the soil level.
Then my inner self asked ? What style of branching would i want? Fairly straight or curved? Formal or informal?
These are all questions that ihave considered working with Yew that have similar characteristics.

(Jonas Dupuich) #12

Fun pics - I like the colored annotations. Will look forward to seeing how the tree responds to cutback.

(Darth Masiah) #13

repotted and cut back. a lot. the roots should about fill the pot by the end of the year. ill have to make sure the wire isnt cutting into the roots this fall. i think the layer was fairly successful. there is one blank spot ill have to mess with at the next repot, though. anyways, the base is headed in the right direction now.

(Frank Corrigan) #14

Nice progress. Thanks for the update.

(Jonas Dupuich) #15

Wow, fantastic roots! The photos make this a good reminder to prune the larger roots early so they don’t get too big.