Dawn redwood needs help

I just purchased this Dawn Redwood a couple weeks ago. It has started losing needles at the tips, they dry out and are crispy. See the attached photos.

As I see it, a few things may have caused this. One, it is root bound and I had to cut some roots to remove it from the nursery matting it was on. Two, I had to leave town for a few days, but left it on a dripper system , but it may not have received enough water? Three, I was fertilizing some other plants and hit this one with some inorganic fertilizer. Could this be fertilizer burn?

So, solutions. Would repotting now help? Into a larger pot with pumice or something inorganic? I’ve been watering more frequently. It’s in a smaller 2 gallon pot.

This is my first post, and I’m very much new to this, so if this should be posted elsewhere, please let me know.

Thanks for any help,

My guess is a water/oxygen issue. It may have gotten too dry when you left town or it may be too wet overall after loosing the roots you had to cut off. The fertilizer may not be helping if the roots are suffering.

I would weigh the tree in its current state (getting a good feel for the weight is probably good) and then soak it in a bucket of water to make sure it is saturated, let it drain, and check the weight (this is to insure you don’t have dry spots and will also flush out excess fertilizer). If the soaked weight is much higher it was too dry. If similar, it was too wet. This will guide your watering practice of this rootbound tree. You can adjust the watering based upon the weight. Another approach is to insert a chopstick into the root ball and checking to see if it is still moist before watering.

Hey Jeff,

Sounds like a water issue. Probably not the fertilizer. DO NOT repot now!! I tried this with a dawn redwood a couple years ago and killed it. They have to be repotted before the growth pushes.

Thanks for the help, I will be more vigilant on the watering, and no repot!

I’ve not done much design work on my trees, just trying to keep them alive right now!

All 5 of my DR (forest…) did this early last spring / summer. I thought it was just TOO much heat on young tips. Didn’t spread. May have been over watering.
Did NOT affect the tree health later in the year. New tips picked up the duty…