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Coast redwood dying


My two year old coast redwood seem to be withering. The branches are getting dry and thin, and the whole plant seems to be shrinking in. It all started about a month ago with drooping branches, but it wasn't as bad as today. I have no idea what the problem is, as the seedling used to look quite healthy. One important piece of information is that it hasn't experienced winter yet - it grows in a relatively warm office, and as of now, I don't have space outside to put it.

Any suggestion is appreciated.  image)


  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 3,062

    Your trees natural habitat is the complete opposite of the conditions your supplying ; they come from cool , damp and quite shady forests on the west coast of N.America . Where these Sequoias grow , they rarely if ever experience any great change in temperature , being strongly influenced by dense cooling Pacific fogs and frequent heavy rainfall .

    Not the easiest conditions to emulate on a hot summers day in the UK , image

  • Hi Paul, 

    Thanks for your reply. Actually I live in Germany; not that it would make the conditions any closer to those in Northern California though... The thing is that I really want to save my tree, and trying to figure out what the main cause of the withering is.

    - Could the sun be the problem? The pot stands on a window sill, but I wouldn't say that it's too hot there. Besides the tree has survived the summer without any problems. 

    - Or perhaps it's a lack of nutrients. I planted it about two years ago in standard potting soil that you get from a supermarket. 

    - Too much / too little water? I normally water it 3 times a week, but am not sure what is right for it.

    By the way, right next to the troubled redwood stands another one, that was planted a year later, and is thriving.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 83,863

    I think that apart from the problems described by Paul, whom I agree with ... another problem is that of low light level.  It is impossible for a plant on a windowsill to get the sort of light level that it would get in the open air ... this causes the plant growth to become etiolated ... drawn out and weak ... and once it gets to a certain size it cannot support it's own weight.  I think this is what is happening to your tree ... it's not strong enough to hold its branches out in the horizontal.  

    It needs to be outside.  image

    What are your plans for your trees' futures?

    Last edited: 23 October 2017 19:40:53

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • LynLyn Posts: 21,909

    If you want to grow anything at all, just look at its natural habitat, as Dove says.

    Office windowsill isn’t exactly what they are used to.  Think about them in the wild and try to get as close to that as possible. 

    You could try a Spider Plant for the office window sill or some cacti.

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • The point was to grow a coat redwood tree, not just something to keep the office pretty. They (as well as giant sequoias) seem to be doing fine in this region.

    I have no intention of growing an "indoor redwood", but at the moment I'm a little limited by my conditions. In about a year I'm planning to move to an apartment with a balcony, then the tree can stand there for a while. And in a couple more years  I will plant it outside (if it's still alive that is). The problem is how to get to that point, as right now I have no land to plant it on.

    In short, I need to keep it alive for about a year in the office, before I can take it outside.

    Last edited: 23 October 2017 20:20:37

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 83,863

    Etiolated = standard botanical word learnt at school to describe a plant that has become pale and leggy when drawn towards the light in dark conditions when we were  learning about photo-tropism. 

    Dont think it has any connection with Italian food ... More like those punnets of mustard & cress you can sometimes get from the green grocer. 


    Last edited: 23 October 2017 21:28:27

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 3,062


    'Weather in the Garden' by Jane Taylor , published by John Murray 1996 ;

    I think you would find this volume very interesting ; describes the climatic requisites and conditions of a bewildering array of plants from every continent on the planet .

    Good subjects include microclimates in gardens , photo/thermo periodism inc. long and short day plants ; also world climates , plant adaptations to adverse conditions and hardiness in general . One of those books you can't put down once started . In my humble opinion one of the best ; not a pretty picture book , just facts .

    Found this in our local library years ago (info still applies) , and before I had access to a computer , I asked my son to scour the internet , and found a copy available from eBay !!

    For anyone interested in plants , this is a must have . A very knowledgeable author .image

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