watering Redwood Trees

Discussion in 'Gymnosperms (incl. Conifers)' started by greg1140, Jul 26, 2006.

  1. greg1140

    greg1140 Member

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    I have 8 Redwood trees that are 40 feet tall and I was curious as to how to water them in the summer? I live in the Central Valley of Ca. where it is very hot and my soil has a lot of clay.
     
  2. Rima

    Rima Active Member

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    The best thing would be a soaker hose wound in between all of the them... a hose with tiny holes all the way through it that (as long as you have the pressure at a reasonable rate) will allow them all to get a good drink (and the water to penetrate the clay) without drowning (tho' they like a lot of water) if you leave it running for hours at a time, but it's not necessary to do it every day. Did you not amend the soil at all this year to deal with the clay?
     
  3. greg1140

    greg1140 Member

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    No I did not ammend the soil, in fact I don't know what that means . How often should you water the trees?
     
  4. Laurie

    Laurie Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    It sounds as though this garden is new to you, so know that the Central Valley is a challenge for Sequoia sempervirens and celebrate your collection of such treasures. I just read that UC Davis has one of the largest collections of coast redwood outside of its native range, so I would contact the gardeners there to compare notes about how to care for them in the Valley: http://arboretum.ucdavis.edu/Collections.htm. I would also read the entry about them in the Sunset Western Garden Book (available at probably any library), which is where I first learned that they “thrive on generous watering” and made need additional iron feedings. Tracy and Davis are actually both in the same Sunset zones so likely have really similar climates. Reading about the tree in its native habitat one learns that the leaves (needles) absorb moisture from the fog, so even here in the cooler north, I like to spray our tree for fun while I am watering it, which is not that frequently despite the sandier soil here.
     
  5. greg1140

    greg1140 Member

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    I am new to gardening so ammending the soil is nw to me. If possible I would still like to know what it means.
     
  6. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    amending soil means to add material to try to improve the soil when planting or otherwise, IE manure, sand, compost etc.
     
  7. Rima

    Rima Active Member

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    Once a tree is planted, however, you can't do much about amending it as such (i.e. putting in peat moss, or whatever around the rootball) so you need to work with what you have now, and good fertilizing, etc. I'd water 2-3 times a week for this season - next year you might not need to do it as often (but always do it well).
     
  8. terrestrial_man

    terrestrial_man Active Member 10 Years

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    You also might buy a fogger spray nozzle at the local garden shop. The trees will love a good soaking even daily. I would wait until later in the day when it starts cooling down a bit and the sun is about an hour from setting. Soak until water is dripping off all the leaves and soak the trunks too.
    Even though I am only 12 miles from the Pacific (in No. Santa Barbara County) the combination of sun and dry winds really hurt the in-ground trees like Sequoiadendron and Japanese Maples. My soil is a sandy clayey soil. I generally soak the area for at least 4 hours every 2 or 3 days. I do not necessarily soak down the trees as I should-though I do spray down my potted ones at least twice a day.
    My in ground tree is huge! but the electric company topped it!!
    the trunk image looks fuzzy but the main trunk is probably large enough for my 5'8" 190lb frame to fit inside of it!!
    After seeing this thread it gets a special soaking over this week-end!!
     

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  9. greg1140

    greg1140 Member

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    I thank all, of you for the valuable information that you have given me. This information will help me keep my trees alive and well.
     
  10. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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  11. greg1140

    greg1140 Member

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    I have another question, everytime I water the trees and give them a good long watering, they seem to turn brown and shed a lot of their growth. Am I watering the trees too much or are they unhealthy?
     
  12. Laurie

    Laurie Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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  13. Janet Ballard

    Janet Ballard Member

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    I also want to know that answer. Our redwood gets many brown "leaves" and loses them all over the yard in the summer. We are in the San Juaquine Valley.
     
  14. M. D. Vaden

    M. D. Vaden Active Member 10 Years

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    That's a local need and variable that most of us should not be answering for you.

    Maybe check with a local arborist, if there is one.

    But if your weather changes, the need changes.

    Personally, I'd use a sprinker rather than a hose or emitters because a sprinkler gives pretty good coverage. And I water trees infrequently for an extended period of time. And with some mulch over the root system.

    If you water too often, you may cause the trees to root more shallow than they should be.
     
  15. MarkVIIIMarc

    MarkVIIIMarc Active Member

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    We know the previous ownere were doi g something at least acceptable to the trees if they made it to forty feet tall. My neighbors have a rojgh idea how much I water my transplants so yours might know 'Ethel stood there holding a hose for an hour every morning smoking' or whatever to give you someplace to start.
     
  16. GreenLarry

    GreenLarry Active Member 10 Years

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    The trees are 40 foot tall so theyre hardly saplings. Theyve got this far without intervention, why should they need it now?
     
  17. M. D. Vaden

    M. D. Vaden Active Member 10 Years

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    The topic is pretty old, from 2006, but as long as it revived it may be worth keeping it useful for future browsers.

    But the OP stated that these are in a hot area. They did not mention the depth of the soil. The larger the trees get, the more water they would need. Maybe the water needs could get rediculous someday.

    In Medford area, I had a chance to work in a few yards where there was like sandstone a few feet beneath the surface, and its fairly hot in summer there. If those yards had redwoods, I could see the need for irrigation increasing with age, because they would deplete the moisture more quickly.

    That's why I made mention of a local arborist in the previous reply.
     
  18. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    With this species, that is just a young sapling ;-)

    In ideal conditions they can get that large in just 7 or 8 years.
     

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