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Dawn redwood (Metasequoia) bonsai care: Fast growth, Easy to cut
Dawn redwood bonsai
Dawn redwood, Metasequoia - General:
The Dawn redwood (also Chinese redwood, botanically Metasequoia glyptostroboides, cypress family - Cupressaceae) has existed on earth for many millions of years. It is a living fossil and was considered extinct. In 1941 the first living trees were rediscovered in China. It'll live to 400 years.
Dawn redwood bonsai care - General:
Metasequoia is very popular as a bonsai. And rightly so. The care of Dawn redwood bonsai is simple. Metasequoia glyptostroboides grows very fast (>1m per year), reaches heights up to 30m and tolerates pruning very well. The Dawn redwood is an outdoor bonsai and is ideal for beginners.
Advantages of Metasequoia for bonsai design - Overview
- Redwood bonsai are hardly infested by pests and have no significant diseases.
- Branches remain flexible for a long time. Thus one can bend also the branches of older Dawn redwood bonsai still well.
- The Redwood is absolutely hardy as a bonsai. We place our bonsai in winter in an unheated foil tent without any problems down to -15°C.
- Wounds close quickly and well. Without wound sealing paste.
- Rapid growth, also as bonsai, enables rapid building of bonsai from young plant
- Good cutting tolerance with extreme bud formation after pruning. Suitable for bonsai beginners. The bonsai care of Metaequoia bonsai is simple.
The Chinese redwood is deciduous, i. e. the needle-shaped leaves fall off in autumn together with the short shoots. Before that, the lush green pinnate leaves turn golden yellow.
As an outdoor bonsai, the Dawn redwood must stand outside in summer. A full sunny location is well suited. In midsummer a semi-shade location is advantageous as the Chinese redwood needs a lot of water. In winter, keep light and cold, but protected from drying out. An unheated foil tent, set up in the shade, is a good winter location - even at the lowest temperatures.
Irrigation and fertilization:
A redwood bonsai needs a lot of water in the sun and often has to be watered twice a day in midsummer. During the hot summertime you can put a Metasequoia bonsai on a coaster filled with a little water. The slightly higher air humidity reduces the evaporation of the bonsai and thus the water requirement.
As fast-growing trees, as bonsai Metasequoia redwood trees also need plenty of fertilizer during the growing season. If one gives very nitrogenous fertilizers (e. g. Biogold, Hanagokoro) they shoot up literally. So you can quickly develop to quite good raw bonsai. When it comes to the design of finer Astetages, fertilizers should no longer be used quite as abundantly. Bonsai liquid fertilizers offered on the market usually contain little nitrogen (approx. 3%). The dosage indicated on the bottles is very suitable for ready-made bonsai.
Bonsai soil for Dawn redwood Bonsai:
Metasequoia prefers a moist to even wet bonsai soil with pH values 5-7. Akadama is very suitable, but also any other, well permeable but also water-storing bonsai soil.
Dawn redwood bonsai maintanance - pests and diseases:
Sequoia bonsai are extremely uncomplicated. They have no pests or diseases worth mentioning. So far we had only once damage by mouses in the winter quarters.
Roots and repotting of Metasequoia Bonsai:
The roots of the Dawn redwood grow quickly and aggressively. Already after a few months the root tips look out of the drainage holes of the bonsai bowls. Therefore, the Dawn redwood often has to be repotted with a strong root cut. Young trees after 1-2 years, older trees after 2-3 years.
Cut and wire:
The shoot tips of the fast growing Dawn redwood Bonsai must be drastically cut back 2-3 times a year to obtain a compact shape. A strong pruning of the Metasequoia Bonsai promotes a denser branching. New buds emerge everywhere. More than sometimes desired.
The use of bonsai wire for shaping is possible. The best time to wire the Dawn redwood is in November after the leaf fall. Then the wire can remain on the bonsai until early summer. Then you should check every few weeks that the wire does not crush or grow in. This can happen quickly due to the strong growth of the trees. Often the wire has to be removed and sometimes it has to be put on again in the autumn.
Suitable bonsai styles:
Most bonsai styles are possible, with the exception of the broom shape. This species is particularly suitable for strictly upright shapes (natural growth habit). Also free upright looks good. With Metasequoia young plants group of trees (forest form) can be realized quickly.