Young tree survival

Discussion in 'Gymnosperms (incl. Conifers)' started by PlantScienceOhio, Aug 24, 2014.

  1. PlantScienceOhio

    PlantScienceOhio Member

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    Location:
    Eastlake, Ohio USA
    I received a Giant Sequoia sapling (Sequoiadendron gigantum) approx. 6 inches tall and immediately potted it. My intention is to use it for bonsai and allow it to grow a bit more, but my concern is whether or not it can survive above ground during an Ohio winter. I recall seeing older, more established bonsai lying dormant above ground and they do just fine the next spring. But this sequoia is very new and I worry that if I do not get it established into the ground the roots won't get the insulation they need.

    Leave it in the pot or transfer to the ground for the coming winter??
     
  2. M. D. Vaden

    M. D. Vaden Active Member 10 Years

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    Seen any bonsai Giant Sequoia in Ohio or similar climates in bordering state?

    Any bonsai clubs around Cleveland or Columbus, etc., where you can email and ask from those members?
     
  3. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    The foliage is tolerant of temperatures down to around -25°C, but the roots aren't - in the wild, deep snow cover keeps the soil unfrozen. Looking up Eastlake I see it is on the shores of Lake Erie, so you should get enough 'lake effect' snow to keep it OK, but put it in an unheated or slightly warmed greenhouse if a hard freeze without snow is forecast.
     
  4. PlantScienceOhio

    PlantScienceOhio Member

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    Another caveat I have been given is that the light reflected off of a blanket of snow can literally burn the lowest branches of a small tree.

    I am wondering if an insulating layer of medium to small pine bark packed in and around the base would help when the snow isn't deep enough.
     

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  5. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Never seen flames coming off a low branch above snow ;-)
    It might help a bit, but pine bark is nowhere near as good an insulator as loose (uncompacted) snow. So probably not safe to rely on it.
     

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