Sequoia growing zone?

Discussion in 'Gymnosperms (incl. Conifers)' started by keithdirt, Jan 24, 2005.

  1. keithdirt

    keithdirt Member

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    What zones are considered safe for Sequoia? I have three seedlings that have made it to 4 years here. (zone 5, indiana) They look great and grow well in the summer, but when winter comes, they take a beating and it takes a while to recover in the spring. Should I move them to zone 6? Higher elevations? I'm at a loss.... can't find anything on the net about their correct zones.
     
  2. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Location:
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    A lot depends on what form of Coastal Redwood
    your seeds came from. Either way in most cases
    a zone 7-11, USDA zones, will be adequate for
    these trees. In order to grow these trees in a zone
    5 we have to make accommodations for them
    to grow more successfully. We have to provide
    protection from the cold in where we place these
    trees if grown in a container or if they are to be
    planted in the ground. We also know that Redwoods
    like lots of organic matter in their soil mixes which
    usually means a lot of humus, either ground fir
    and/or pine bark mixed in with soil in the planting
    mix after the trees have been planted into the
    ground. Humus only placed at the bottom of the
    hole prior to planting has been shown to be a
    detriment for a few to several years but these
    trees can over come that placement as long as
    there is little Nitrogen at the bottom of the hole
    which can kill off root systems.

    Many times in cooler climates these trees will
    sit in their respective holes and not grow much
    at all. We see it happen here even in a much
    warmer climate. A good case in point is my
    true form of Albo Spica which grew very little
    for 10 years in the ground and now it is growing
    well with at least 2 feet of new growth a year on
    that tree. Soquels and Aptos Blue should grow
    that fast and faster, depending, once they are
    about 6-7 years old and are planted in the ground.
    Once a Redwood establishes a central leader they
    will start to grow and it is not uncommon for a
    leader to die out and the tree initiate another
    leader but it may take a few years for a new
    central leader to become established and grow.

    In a cooler climate it is normal for these trees
    to take a beating but not all of that is due to
    the cold. These trees will in time better adapt
    to your cold. Remember these are trees that
    in their native settings do not have to endure
    much intense cold and not long periods of
    real heat either but they do get an ample
    supply of marine air with lots of moisture.
    Moisture retention in our soil mixes with
    plenty of aeration in our soils can help ward
    off the cold elements these tree will face
    grown in the cooler growing zones.

    The Coastal Redwood is vastly different
    than the Giant Sequoia in that the Giant
    Sequoias can handle most all of the USDA
    zones in comparison but I must caution
    that the Giant Sequoia is rather tender to
    prolonged cold when it is young, less than
    12 years of age. Still, supplying Winter
    protection does not hurt when growing the
    Giant Sequoias either.

    I have assumed your seedlings are of the
    Coastal Redwood as Giant Sequoia seeds
    are much tougher to germinate.

    The same precautions for a zone 5 will apply
    for a zone 6. Moving to a higher elevation
    will not necessarily help a Coastal Redwood
    much at all in a cool growing zone but more
    likely will hurt it more often than not.

    Jim
     
  3. keithdirt

    keithdirt Member

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    Thanks very much for all of your info, Jim.

    These seedlings came to me as two-year-olds directly from CA. They are true sequoiadendron giganteum, not redwoods (sequoia sempervirens). At least this is what I was told and I have to assume since the needles are tiny, blue-green and scale-like, not flat right-angle needles. I am not that familiar with the varieties in the sequoiadendron family but I have two older metasequoias which are probably more like redwoods, save that they shed their needles in fall. But, I would love to learn more about them all.

    I am going to take a risk and move these seedlings to a property I have that is one zone south to make things a bit easier on them. Snow is more rare down there and I can put them on a south-facing hill slope in partial shade. They were started bare root and I think now that I can take a rootball, I might have better luck.

    Thanks again!
     
  4. norain

    norain Member

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    if this helps and im not getting off subject .i tryed a new way of stratifing the seeds of the giant sequoia. i soak them for up to 3 days. 1 would work too. then i bought some dollar store ice cube trays tiny cubes .i drop three seeds in each chamber a touch of water then freeze . then use the cubes as needed for planting. they melt in a hr and i go back push the soil down with my finger later. i got 1/2 inch sprouts in about a week. been using manure potting soil. and only water. fertilizer will kill them. they are very fragile for the first couple months .as they get the little needle ball on top they are still fragile.but when i see some are begining to wilt .i put 2 drops of super thrive in a spray bottle and spray them and notice they perk up.still lose the odd one.but way better results then i was getting. :: and to answer keithdirt snow cover is good for your sequoia. you can even shovel it on top of it for a few yrs .i live in the kootenays winters arent no big deal here .in cold you either need to cover in straw or snow. and some times your tree looks dead after a long deep freeze winter .keep it watered and it most likely will come back it just apears dead.
     
  5. MarkVIIIMarc

    MarkVIIIMarc Active Member

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    Keith, if those don't work out for you, Metasequoia Glyptostroboides will probably work.

    http://www.skidmore.edu/gis/research/metasequoia/

    It can be mail ordered on the cheap. Seeds are iffy though, you need a GOOD source. From ebay I've had perhaps 1 in 100 type germination while from 80% Schumacher seed probably about 80%
     
  6. norain

    norain Member

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    keith dirt i wouldnt move them exspecialy if you enjoy where they are .if they a 4 yrs old .thats great just cover them snow is good too .or straw.and you can leave the straw to make organic mulch.it breakes down in about 2 yrs time so just keep adding till your trees are too tall they will make it then keep them watered.
     
  7. M. D. Vaden

    M. D. Vaden Active Member 10 Years

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    At 5 years after this this topic was started, I suppose the seedlings would have some good size by now.

    One of my favorite evergreens.
     
  8. jimhardy

    jimhardy Member

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    Well,here's a picture of my little guy in zone 5 Iowa.

    Hopefully he will take less of a beating as he get's bigger!

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Michael F

    Michael F Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Yours is Sequoiadendron giganteum.
     
  10. jimhardy

    jimhardy Member

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    Yes,
    the Coast Redwood would have-0% chance here.
    These just barely make it through the winter here.
     
  11. norain

    norain Member

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    jim awsome picture of your little guy . i have around 100 seedlings 3inches tall now in my dining room by the patio door.cant wait till i can plant them all over my property. i recieved and thanks for your comment m.d vaden.our winters are so mild now im hoping they will make it. long live global warming.lol lets plant the artic.lol.
     
  12. norain

    norain Member

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    my seedlings are coming along great. just started 100 more. from the schumaker seed company .they are very good at getting sequoia seeds. orders arive promptly .ive heard of some not so reliable companies.if i wasnt so busy i think i would raise and sell saplings in canada . i think there would be a great business selling sequoias.
     
  13. M. D. Vaden

    M. D. Vaden Active Member 10 Years

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    That's the same species the OP clarified in reply #3.

    If the low teens Farenheit are your normal winter temperatures, your extremes may be too harsh for coast redwood. Sequoia sempervirens can pretty much handle mid-teens easily.

    There are some here in the Portland area which have made it through temps between 10 degrees to 20 degrees several times. They can survive even colder temps occassionally.

    90 to 100 works in summer, but they seem to need some extra moisture if the temps hover around 96 to 105 a bunch of times.

    The Sequoiadendron seem much more durable when it comes to lower temps and summer highs. But the coast redwoods are underestimated sometimes.
     
  14. jimhardy

    jimhardy Member

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    Did anyone notice the original post was about SEQUOIA?

    ALL THIS OTHER CHIBBER LOLOL
     
  15. fredmcain

    fredmcain Member

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    I just recently stumbled across this older thread that is of interest to me as well. By coincidence, I too live in northern Indiana and have experimented over the years in the cultivation of giant sequoias. I hope that Keithdirt is still watching the thread.

    The results of my experiments are somewhat sad and disappointing, I’m afraid: They will not live here. It is just plain too cold. Amazingly enough it is not too cold for them every year. They seem to do O.K. following a milder winter but as soon as you get a hard winter they’re toast. They seem to freeze out around -10F. That is about the same temperature that peach buds freeze out at. One thing that impressed me was that when they’re very young they can actually grow pretty fast.

    Quite a few years ago I planted about a half dozen of them that I got from a breakfast cereal box promotion. They thrived for a few years but eventually all died. Not wanting to give up completely, I decided to try again. The next time I ordered two larger specimens from a nursery near Napa, CA. One of the two lived about seven years but died after a -20F reading over the winter of 2010, I think it was. The other one survived but was badly damage. It was beginning to recover until the winter of 2014 which was the most brutal winter that I have EVER lived through. It is gone.

    I also lost one peach tree and the other peaches that survived along with my sweet cherries did not bloom. My Carpathian walnuts are also damaged.

    So, there you have the results of my experiment. I consider my experiment a success in as far as it told me what I really wanted to know even if I was unhappy with the results.

    I can also add that it is a good idea to ignore claims by promoters that Sequoias will live anywhere in the lower 48 states. They will not. Zone 6 is probably the safe limit. Here in northern Indiana, I have always felt that we are actually near the lower end of zone 5. Almost in zone 4 but not quite.

    Regards,
    Fred M. Cain
     
  16. jimhardy

    jimhardy Member

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    Last edited by a moderator: May 28, 2014
  17. fredmcain

    fredmcain Member

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    Jim,

    Mine was about 15 feet. I have this theory - unsubstantiated - that extreme cold might somehow damage the soft wood or "sap wood" that conveys water from the root system up to the foliage. After my other tree died back in 2010 - or perhaps it was 2009? - I cut it down in mid summer and noticed that the trunk was still "green" near the ground indicating that perhaps the roots were still alive but the rest of the tree was dead. By the end of July, or whatever it was, I'd lost all hope that it would come back.

    I have another theory. I think that if someone lived further north in Michigan or even Ontario a few miles downwind from one of the Great Lakes, they might be able to live there. Bitter cold northwest winds get moderated passing over the lake and produce heavy "lake effect" snow on the leeward side of the lake. This might almost mimick the condtions in the Sierra. The causes are different but the effect is similar.

    I know some people who live in the Freemont, MI area who have told me that many times the ground doesn't even freeze there in the winter. Heavy, lake-effect snow starts in the fall and covers the ground all winter keeping it from freezing very deep if at all.

    Regards,
    Fred M. Cain
     
  18. jimhardy

    jimhardy Member

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    Yea...i think that would work...

    It is pretty close here as far as their survival...

    I think your theory sounds reasonable for sure...
    I was thinking something along the same lines only lower.
    I have had these survive -20F with no damage if out of the wind completely.
    When I tried to pull the mulch back(with the first one),it and the ground were frozen solid.
     
  19. norain

    norain Member

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    i almost forgot about this site. I had planted sequoias in the ground last summer 2013 they went through the winter buried under snow the winter had a -20 cold snap for 2 weeks in Salmo the kootenays b.c. Canada . The snow protected the trees then spring came , we still had minor freezing snow was gone some lower branches went rust coloured .but everything seems to be doing fine , 2 trees which were runts compaired to the rest died. These trees had been in pots for 3 yrs in a heated garage during the cold winter months outside in spring summer fall . All types of trees ive planted here seem to be dormant just building roots for 2 yrs in the ground then they take off and grow like crazy.
     
  20. Ziggy Penner

    Ziggy Penner New Member

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    Stumbled across this forum while researching. I'm in Canada along the west coast of Southern Ontario. I've ordered some seeds and am going to make an attempt to grow some Giant Sequoia here. We've had a bunch of ash trees die along the base of a southern facing slope (formed by a river, the river is now a couple hundred meter's further south). Numerous springs along the hill should provide an adequate water supply and the soil is alluvial. It's also within 2 km of the lake shore. Hardiness zone 6a/b. Frequent fog. Lot's of lake effect snow. Peaches grow readily in the area.

    Some Dawn Redwoods were planted in 2013 in town, they appear to be thriving despite the severity of the 2013 and 2014 winters. Hopefully the Giant's will do just as well.
     
  21. Michael F

    Michael F Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Should do well there - there's a big Giant Sequoia recorded at Manistee, Michigan, with very similar lakeside climate on the east shore of Lake Michigan.
     
  22. jimhardy

    jimhardy Member

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    The cold ground temps are what did mine in,
    I forgot to push the mulch up to the trunk before
    I went out of town for the winter and this killed
    the roots near the trunk,even so,it is not practical
    to mulch these their whole lives but....besides the roots
    the upper part of the plant is pretty tough!
     
  23. norain

    norain Member

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    hey keith .I'm in a zone 4 kootenays bc Canada . when small , I cover mine with white pails in winter once they are 1 1 /2 ft tall I just let the snow cover them they are weak till then and the roots are just taking off . you can use straw or burlap wrapping remember to get it off once the big freezing is over .4 yrs yours should be able to stand anything they like lots of sunshine .and when growing from seeds I put them in cardboard egg cartons with cow manure potting soil and the green house I keep at 100 f to 115 f just till the seeds sprout then keep it at 80 f . I just started a 100 or so 2 weeks ago they are up and growing already . take care and grow somemore put them in different spots and let the forum know how its going. oh > they grow sequoias in Minnesota winters get pretty harsh there .you should be good.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 6, 2016
  24. fredmcain

    fredmcain Member

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    I have some personal, hands-on experience with this. I live in a rather open, exposed and windy location in semi-rural northeastern Indiana. Most hardiness maps rate us at zone 5 but I suspect we are at the very low end of zone 5 if not at the very top of zone 4. I planted a bunch of giant Sequoias, some that I got from a cereal box gift and a couple of specimens from a nursery in northern California. I had one specimen reach about 8 years and the other 12 years. My experience is that they freeze out around -10 degrees F. That is about the same temp where I usually lose my peach crop for the year.

    I keep hoping that SOMEONE will come up with a cultivar that can withstand colder temps. I remember reading years ago that there is a grove of Sequoias in the southern Sierra thriving at around the 8,000-foot level. Would seeds from that source perhaps be a bit more cold hardy? I have asked several "experts" about this but no one seems to know.

    So, for the time being, I have given up. I can also mention that while my trees were growing I had a lot of trouble with "juniper rust" and "Japanese" beetles. Some of the first "cereal box" specimens were actually killed by the rust. I lost about five of 'em before I figured out what was going on. So I started spraying with a systemic fungicide - that took care of that problem. In California, Sequoias are celebrated for having no insect pests. But in the Midwest, Japanese beetles LOVE them. I sprayed them with "Tempo". That took care of that issue. But there was no way to protect a 16-foot tree from -26 F and backed up by a 35 MPH wind!

    When the first tree died around 2010, the other was badly injured. No, it wasn't the leaves or roots but the cambium layer was destroyed along one side. The poor thing was just beginning to recover from that injury when the record-breaking harsh winter of 2014 hit. TOAST! Global warming? Climate change? Ha! The Sequoias are in disagreement with the "experts". I guess they are not "politically correct". :)

    Regards,
    Fred M. Cain,
    Topeka, IN
     
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  25. norain

    norain Member

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    good info thanks for sharing .
     

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