Dawn Redwood browning leaves

Hi fellow bonsai-ers is that a word? Lol

I have recently seen this developing on my Dawn Redwood leaves. They are browning for some reason. They get adequate sun light and enough water throughout the day. Please have a look at the pictures and share your thoughts.

I have a Dawn redwredwood tree about 2.5m planted in the ground and that is perfectly fine so I am really not sure as to why the forests in the pot are developing brown leaves.

Btw we are through early to mid spring right now in London, England. The forest is planted in a 1:1:1 ratio of akadama, pumice and lava rocks.

Thank you all!


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Is there a chance it is too wet? I know they like to be on the wetter side but possible it’s not drying out between waterings which would prevent air exchange. Are there good holes and draingage at the bottom of this pot? Is it newly repotted or established forest?


Hey thank you for your reply.

A bit of History: I bought two separate forests last summer a small and a large one. I just transplanted it last year into a shallow and larger pot. I left repotting till this Spring, and allowed it to grow out.

When repotting I also took each individual tree and positioned them according to my design. The soil has really good drainage so not sure if its due to overwatering. I thought it would be the opposite of under watering, we’ve had strong winds lately could this be a factor?

The PH of the soil is around 7-ish. And I know Dawn Redwoods prefer acidic soil so could this be another factor?

Thank you

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Hey, I have 0 redwood in my collection but looking at the pictures I am questioning the same as @PutItInTheGround mainly cos of the amount and type of moss there. That just keeps too much of water constantly it looks like.
But again I am not redwood expert so someone who can identify the color of foliage from experience would be your best shot.
Maybe more info on that: is the browning foliage soft to touch or rather dry? Is it evenly browning or just few branches/trees of the forest? etc.
Hope you get a help in this - looks like great bonsai :+1:

PS: where about in London are you? Some of trees are a bit funny this year and wondering why… Tbh I blame general lack of sun spells looking at my copper beach (just came out!!) and it has green leaves first time in 5 years I have it which indicates luck of UV rays

Have you tried putting a chopstick in the soil to ensure it needs watering before watering? I’ve always liked this method as I’m not the best as telling if my plants are thirsty or not. The wind could be a factor too. The wind is fierce where I live and I will bring my plants when very windy and newly repotted plants stay inside even when gusty.

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Maybe also a late frost or wind damage? Even sun burn of the delicate new growth?
Whatever it is, they are beasts- it should bounce back.

Hey thanks for your reply.

The reason I put moss there was to retain water so the trees don’t dry out completely considering the soil is fast draining, however I have noticed the moss drys outs on warm days.

the brown leaves are dry to touch, but not soo dry that they fall apart. I have noticed the browning of leaves on the smaller trees in the forest, and some new growth lower down on some of the bigger trees. So from what I can see, not all trees are showing these symptoms but just a few.

I am in Stratford not too far from the Olympic Village. problem is like you said, the weather has been extremely unsettling. from sun to rain to clouds to sun. There have been a few days where I’ve seen four seasons in one day lol, so this definitely doesn’t help. My large Dawn Redwood tree which is planted in the ground was growing very strong when it was sunny and warm, but I have noticed this last week the new growth has completely slowed down.



I use a soil moisture indicator, its pretty accurate as i’ve tested it out. whenever I water my trees it shows as the forest as dry and only then I water it. Of course on warmer and sunnier days, they are watered twice, once in the morning and once in the evening just after the hottest part of the day has passed.

as mentioned we’ve had an unusual Spring here, with gusty winds. I would like to bring in the forest but it weighs too much to bring in and out whenever it’s windy. I have hope that new fresh growth will push out once its sunnier and warmer.

The weather is unbelievable here lol. even following a weather app is useless, it will say rainy and cloudy but then the sun comes out. Don’t know what to do lol.

yes yes yes hopefully it will bud out again that is the plan right now.

sorry I forgot to mention I took that picture after watering hence why the moss looks overly wet.