Coastal Redwood UK winter pruning - FYI for results

Hi - just thought I’d post this out of interest for UK (southern UK) and similar climates, and if it’s any interest / help to anyone!

Sooo, half good, half bad. This is a coastal I bought as a seedling about four years ago. I’m just growing it straight up to thicken as a formal upright and chop in the future. Now about five foot tall.

I spotted Ryan’s video on timing of trimming (i.e. shoot for late winter) with the aim of having it not “go nuts” and just resprout from the trunk. I had that happen in year two (ish) when I trimmed further out on the branch out of that deep winter season.

So thinking this one was in need of another trim back of the branches (they were getting unmanageably long, though I dithered about leaving them long to add to the trunk growth rate), I said “aha” and followed said library video, trimming back to fairly clear new bud points on each branch right at the start of this year (mid to late Jan time).

It didn’t really wake up! All I saw as everything else on the benches budded was the branches slowly die, zero push anywhere (i.e. every part of the tree went the dead brown still seen here). I thought I’d killed it dead. However it has only just now (last few days of May) started pushing. Interestingly, it’s gone “half half” - some push from the apparently dead branches themselves, and a lot from the trunk. The top was never cut, so that’s gone nuts. .

True (1) this is young tree; (2) we had a weird late winter and early spring here, with heavy snow and freezing for a couple of weeks in Feb / March. So it’s entirely possible one or both are the cause. Or (3) I’ve just totally misjudged the timing as between the UK and Oregon!

Anyhow I just thought I’d post the pics and result in case it’s of interest / use. It really did take a long count to get up off the deck here inthe (usually dryer) SE UK, but it’s back now and motoring. I was very surprised it took as long as it did however (and all other factors seemed ok… i.e. all over 2020 and into 2021 it was not repotted, was well fed, well watered, free draining mix, no sign of disease going into winter, relatively sheltered from wind, full daylight). Luckily I kept watering and light fertilising the apparently dead tree out of hope!

I suppose it’s just one of the factors above, but interesting how these “little friends” respond.

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Hi Mark. Interesting post. I live up North (Nr Scunthorpe) and I have four of them in development. I repotted them and on each pruned off the top and wired up a new leader. Having done this at previous repots I thought nothing of it. But not accounting for the funny weather we’ve had this year I left them to get on with what they do best…grow!
I was worried about them (for the first time ever!) and even put them in the greenhouse during frosty nights (though they survive all the snow we have every year). They are finally growing well now. I’ll post phots when I get a minute.
I finished repotting everything last week with the exception of the azaleas which I’ll have to wait for flowering to finish.
I don’t know about your area but we had the snow of Feb?March but then the frosts of April struck with a frost virtually every night, and some really low temps -5 down to -8 some nights.
I put as many trees in the greenhouse every night as I could but it isn’t very large. I’ve lost 13 deshojo cuttings and even some european larch! with virtually all the rest of my trees way behind on where they were last year.
HO HUM! The vagaries of being a bonsai enthusiast…