Costal Redwood seedlings

Asked December 1, 2018, 12:31 AM EST

I live near Cottage Grove, Or and I plant several Coastal Redwood seedlings (3.5-4ft) in late October. Most of the trees branches are very saggy and tips, along other branches are turning brown. Is this normal or is there something I should do (fertilize)?

Lane County Oregon forestry

1 Response

Saggy branches and brown tips are not normal for coastal redwood. This could be two things. The first is drought response. When trees are planted there is some transplanting shock. Transplanting shock plus the drought may have over stressed the roots and now the tree isn't getting enough water. Drought response is usually expressed by wilted leaves and dying branch tips. Now that it has started raining, if the tree isn't completely dead already, the browning should not move further down the branches. If you've been watering the tree deeply (trickle of water for hours at a time) since it has been planted, then my second thought is frost damage. Has it been freezing temperatures where you've planted the tree? Young Coastal redwood is susceptible to frost damage. If the tips die, they will resprout from the live sections of the branches next year. This typically doesn't kill the tree, but will cause it to have multiple tops and be bushy. If frost is what you think the problem is you can drape some clear plastic over the tree to create a mini- green house effect so the tips don't freeze before the tree goes dormant.