Country of Origin : China
Bonsai Styles : Formal upright, informal upright, slanting, twin-trunk, clump, multiple-trunk, group
Zone : 5 – 8
Dawn redwood trees make good bonsai trees and can be trained into many styles, particularly informal and formal upright styles.
The Dawn Redwood Bonsai tree is a deciduous conifer and has gracefully up-swept branches, with lacey needled foliage.
It has got bright green tiny leaflets. The deciduous needles change from light green to pinkish brown and then golden brown before falling from the trees in the fall.
In addition to the stunning fall color, the bonsai is also complimented by its orangish brown bark on the trunk. The bark also has a grooved structure.
The trunk has a particularly straight profile giving the tree a conical growth habit. The spreading roots are heavy and wide.
The tree is usually pest free, is a rapid grower and responds very well to pruning. All these characteristics make this tree a very good candidate for bonsai beginners.
Best location to keep Dawn redwood Bonsai
You can keep the dawn redwood bonsai in full sun throughout the growing season and in summer.
You should, however, protect the bonsai tree from very hot sun.
The tree can tolerate low winter temperatures. But move the bonsai container to a protected shed in case the temperature falls below 14°F (-10°C).
Place the bonsai tree in a humid location.
Propagation of Dawn redwood tree
Dawn redwood tree can be propagated by sowing seeds in early spring. You can use stratified seeds also. This will increase the germination chances.
It can also be propagated by using stem cuttings in summer. Within eight weeks, you will see roots emerging from cuttings.
Watering Dawn redwood Bonsai
Keep the bonsai well hydrated throughout the growing season by watering regularly and generously.
During hot weather, you will need to water your dawn redwood plants twice or three times a day.
If you want to prevent the pot from drying out, put the bonsai pot in a shallow tray of water.
The root-ball should never be allowed to dry out. Also, do not overwater as that will rot the roots. However, these trees can tolerate waterlogged soil for a brief period of time (unlike other conifer trees).
Keep the soil moist during the winter.
Spray the bonsai foliage with water to increase the humidity around the tree.
Read watering bonsai tree for more details about immersion technique.
Wiring Dawn redwood Bonsai
Late fall is a good time to wire the tree. At this time the branches will be bare.
A new shoot should only be wired once it has hardened slightly. Otherwise, it may snap.
The wires should not be left on for more than a growing season.
The tree grows relatively quickly. Check that the branches are not biting the wires. You can use guy wires.
Pruning Dawn redwood Bonsai
When to prune Dawn redwood bonsai?
How to prune Dawn redwood bonsai?
Heavy pruning will result in lot of branch production.
Redwood shoots are very soft when they first grow, so allow them to harden before pruning.
Spring is a good time to prune back the branches with long internodes.
Dawn redwood Bonsai shoot tips need to be drastically cut back 2-3 times a year to maintain a compact shape.
The redwood tree has a tendency of producing a lot of new buds after pruning. Especially around the pruning wounds.
Pinching Dawn redwood Bonsai
Browning of the growing tips can be caused by scissors. The best way to avoid this is to pinch out new shoots as they appear during the growing season.
There is a risk of young shoots tearing easily, so be careful.
Repotting Dawn redwood Bonsai
When to repot Dawn redwood bonsai?
Dawn redwood trees are vigorous growers. These trees need to be repotted every year in spring.
Also, the roots of the tree grow very fast. This is also a reason for frequent repotting. Repot the tree when the roots are pot bound.
Prune the roots before repotting the plant.
However, big mature bonsai trees can be repotted every 2nd year.
You can use a free-draining, moisture retentive bonsai soil mix. A soil rich in organic matter is a good option.
You can also make a soil mix of loam, sharp sand and peat (or compost) in the ration of 1:1:1.
Must Read: Bonsai Soil Recipes
Must read : Choosing the right bonsai container
Feeding Dawn redwood Bonsai
A high-nitrogen feed should be applied in the spring, followed by a general fertilizer in the late summer.
Read more about bonsai fertilizer and its application.
Diseases and pest of Dawn redwood Bonsai
In general, dawn redwood trees are resistant to most plant diseases.
Canker infections and mildew can occur occasionally, however.
The infection from fungal pathogens results in flat and sunken patches of dead tissue on infected wood tissue. This can also cause the dieback of branches and twigs.
Infected bark often seeps a discolored resin and affected branches display yellow, brown, or wilted foliage.
Apply a fungicide. For mildew, keep the tree in the clean ventilated place.
Dawn redwood bonsai care
This tree is especially thirsty at the time of hot weather. Make sure you notice the signals the tree is giving and keep the water supply adequate.
Protect the tree from very hot sun as it might cause leaf scorch.
Make sure your tree is not suffering from fungal diseases. Look for the symptoms mentioned in the pest section above.
Remove the unnecessary deadwood tissue. It is important to keep checking these deadwood tissues, as fungal pathogens (if the tree is infected) can spread by wind and water to the rest of the tree.
What to look for when buying Dawn redwood Bonsai
The trunk of the tree is naturally straight. Look for a bonsai which has got a good root flare.
Look for a bonsai which has got branches emerging in all directions. The tree responds well to pruning and branch structure can be restructured by pruning and wiring. However, it is a good idea to opt for a bonsai specimen which already has a good foundation. You will save some time and work.
The trunk is one of the main aspects of dawn redwood bonsai. Check for unsightly scars.