Sequoiadendron soil replacement


#1

Hi all,

I have a giant sequoia that I started from seed in general purpose potting soil some years ago (long before I had any idea what I was doing). I’ve hesitated from swapping out the soil on this one as I’ve heard bare-rooting can do some vicious things to this species. The tree is now 82cm tall and I’m eyeing it as a potential subject. But I really, really need to get it in something that drains better this next spring (I’m eyeing a pumice/grit mix). So, I wanted to poll some opinions on a pair of questions:

  1. Has anyone successfully changed out nursery soil/sub-optimal soil from a giant sequoia?
  2. How do you handle the difference in drainage when only bare rooting half of the root ball? Do you treat the old soil portion as a separate tree, on a separate watering schedule from the new soil to prevent from overwatering?

Many thanks for any insights!


(Jonas Dupuich) #2

You’re right to be cautious about bare rooting any conifers. Young trees, however, are far more resilient than older trees to soil disruptions. Am curious how old the tree is. (photo?)


#3

Thanks for the reply!

The tree is just under three years old (germinated early February of 2013). They have phenomenal growth rates! I’ll try to get a picture loaded soon, it’s a bit dark at the moment for good photography.


(Jonas Dupuich) #4

For such a young tree I wouldn’t use the 50/50 approach. I’d see how much soil falls away when I remove the tree from the container and go from there.

If you’re working on making the trunk bigger, you want as much growth as possible so I don’t expect there to be very much root work. That said, now’s the time to correct major root defects, ideally by rearranging roots and not by cutting.

The 50/50 approach works best for trees with developed root balls.