Beautiful Dawn Redwood. I don't want it to die!

chouroud1June 16, 2014

We've had a very nice dawn redwood growing for the past 5 years. It's grown several of feet every year and is now about 20 feet tall.

Recently, however, the needles in lower branches have become yellowish-brown and shriveled. It seems to be random but restricted to more of the lower branches.

I've attached a photo, it's upside down. Imagine this along the four or five main branches.

Any idea what it is and how to treat it? Is this fatal?

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Another picture, again upside down. Notice the little white hairs between the branches. I'm assuming that's not a fungus even though it's on other branches?

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 7:53PM
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bluecone(Central Texas8b)

Is the tree in a pot or is it planted in the ground? From the picture it looks like the tree is on a wooden patio.

If the tree is in a pot, it is probably suffering from tangled roots and nutrient-deficient soil. You should plant it in the ground.

If you see any roots that are obviously wrapping around (such as in this picture ) you should try to gently untangle them. If you don't feel confident that you can untangle them without damaging them, plant them in the ground as is.

If you're able to keep the soil around it moist for the duration of the summer (ie. by watering at least twice a week), it should survive. Here are some more detailed instructions:

This post was edited by bluecone on Mon, Jun 16, 14 at 21:38

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 9:23PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

lets see a pic of the whole ... and hold you technology upright .. dont turn it to take a fancy pic ... sometimes that helps ...

and while you are at it.. is it in full blistering sun???

my DR at about 20 feet is about 15 feet wide.. something about your pic makes me think yours isnt ... like that wall right next to it ... or what looks like a wall .... but the pix are confusing ...


    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 9:34PM
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Thanks for the replies. To answer your questions:

My bad about the height. 12ft is closer to it. It's still skinny at around a foot diameter at the trunk's base.

It's quite a sunny and hot summer so far here, could this be the reason?

The tree is not in a container or patio, it's in soil. That is just a fence in the background (the photo is upside down).

I've read cankers are the main disease. Is this diseased or just poor conditions?

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 9:54PM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

If I edit my phone pics with picsay, even just press save, it gives me a copy I can upload.

My metasequoia just turned tan and defoliated in drought. Guess I was more help with the pics.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 10:27PM
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mikebotann(8a SE of Seattle)

How much fertilizer are you giving it?
What direction does it face?
How much, or how little, sun does it get.


    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 4:37AM
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That damage is reminiscent of larch casebearer damage, albeit this is the wrong genus/species for that insect. Could it be that crossover into Metasequoia is possible for this pest? I don't know, but it could also be that there is another casebearer-like insect which is present in your area and which can attack DR.

Look up the insect I mention and its related damage and see if you don't agree-there are similarities between it and what is presenting on your DR. I don't think that's the end of the story, but it might yield something useful.


    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 10:04AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

pic of the whole??

i think.. jumping to disease is way out there ... but of course.. always possible ...


    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 6:08PM
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