Sequoia growing zone?

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

  1. fredmcain

    fredmcain Member

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    norain,

    Actually since I posted this about a week ago, I have stumbled across some new information bearing both "good news and bad". The fact is that there ARE two strains of giant Sequoia that were developed to withstand harder winters. One was developed at the Watnong nursery in New Jersey and is known as "Hazel Smith", guaranteed to thrive in zone 5. The other was devel0ped at the University of Idaho (UOI) and is known as "Idaho Endurance".

    Idaho Endurance has a fascinating history. Supposedly three small seedlings were donated to the university by no other than John Muir himself in the early 20th century. They thrived and grew to be quite large until a terrible freeze in the 1940s, I think it was. It was -45F for THREE nights in a row! Two died but the third lived and continued to thrive. The UOI sought and obtained registration for the cultivar hence the name "Idaho Endurance". Unfortunately, a professor at UOI told me something like "Unfortunately I don't have a way to get you any plants". He gave me the name of a nursery in Oregon who obtained some seeds. They told me that although they have a specimen growing there, they have no plans to propagate or sell them. :(

    As for Hazel Smith, the Watnong Nursery has evidently been out of business now for a number of years. I have found about a half dozen online nurseries who advertise Hazel Smith but then when I try and contact them about ordering it, I come to find out that the actually don't have it anymore. So, as far as obtaining seedlings, both these cultivars would appear to be NLA. That's the bad news. But, maybe we can get some seeds from the UOI? Maybe you should try it if you're good at germinating them.

    Although off topic from Sequoias, yesterday I started some red fir seeds. (Abies magnifca). I have never tried to do anything like this before so I don't know what to expect. They are actually pretty big - slightly larger than a watermelon seed. We'll see. The thing is, I get tons of nursery catalogs in the mail but they all offer the same things - all the same half dozen or so conifers. It could well be that if you really want something different or unique, you might have to look at propagation from seeds. We'll see.

    Regards,
    Fred M. Cain
     
  2. norain

    norain Member

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    so interesting .Strange how something dosent get planted due to someones lack of interest at the university . Could have been a a whole new hardy tree for Canada and north usa .
     
  3. fredmcain

    fredmcain Member

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    norain,

    Yeah, I'm not sure whom to blame, really, the university or the nurseries. It would almost appear that the nurseries don't feel that these items would be profitable enough to go to the time and expense to produce and distribute them. As for the UOI, I don't know how well equipped they'd be to market something like this.

    The nursery involved was Buchholz & Buchholz if you want to try your luck at contacting them or, anyone else on this forum would be free to as well. Maybe if they were to get enough requests they might change their mind.

    Regards,
    Fred M. Cain
     
  4. MikeCanada

    MikeCanada New Member

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    Yes I believe you are correct in your theory about growing sequoias near the great lakes region. I first started growing seedlings in pots in 1984 from seeds I purchased at Muir Woods, California. I transplanted these to the ground on a farm about 2 miles from Lake Huron. Now these trees have
    been growing for the past 35 years. They are about 20 feet tall now and doing quite well. Though they did go dormant for a year or two.
    If you need any further information let me know.
    Mike
     
  5. fredmcain

    fredmcain Member

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    Mike,

    Most interesting and thanks for your input! I would like to update this thread just a bit since I have found some new information.

    As I think I said before, I planted two giant Sequoias about 12 years ago. They almost made it. One lived about six years before succumbing in a particularly hard winter. The other was badly injured from the cold but managed to live two more years for a total of 8. It looked to me like it was beginning to recover when we had another very bad winter (2013-2014). It was toast!

    I live in northeastern Indiana about 20 miles south-southwest from Sturgis, MI and about 60-75 miles from Lake Michigan so we are well outside the so-called “snow belt” and its associated moistening and moderating effects. In a hard winter we get a lot of bitter cold, drying winds.

    But, the fact that my two specimens ALMOST made it (close but no cigar) suggested to me that maybe, just maybe, if I could find some specimens that were just a little more cold hardy I might meet with success.
    Well, there ARE two strains or cultivars of Sequoia that are touted as cold hardy. One is known as “Hazel Smith” and the other as “Idaho Endurance”.
    I searched long and hard for a source for these and kept striking out. Seems like nobody has them anymore. If you try and “Google” for “Hazel Smith Giant Sequoias” you will see oodles and oodles of websites that offer them. But when you actually go to any of those websites to order them – they’re not there! Had ‘em once but no more.

    Well, I received a tip about a nursery in Oregon that might have them. I contacted them and was told they no longer do but when he saw my interest in this he said he would try to get some cuttings to graft. So, it looks like I might’ve finally, finally, FINALLY found some although I don’t have them yet. I hope to get them in April and put them in the ground. The jury is still out on this. If I get them and they live, I will post a progress update.

    Regards,
    Fred M. Cain
     
  6. Michael F

    Michael F Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    If it isn't too late and you have the option, check that they take cuttings from vigorous shoots high in the upper crown. These are much better for rooting / grafting than low shoots, which will give slow-growing bushy plants that won't establish well.
     

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