Dawn Redwood Temperatures

Hey everyone, new to the forum!
I was just watching the video on pruning coastal redwoods and Ryan was talking about bringing them in if you experience cold weather. We have harsh winters in Maine, so obviously I will need to protect it. I’m curious if these types of trees need a full dormancy like pines/spruce etc. Or if it would be better to have it in the house and active year round? Most of my trees I plan to put in the unheated garage with windows, but it does get very cold in there as well.

1 Like

Being a deciduous conifer, I think it is important for Dawn Redwoods to experience a period of dormancy. Hormonally speaking I don’t think it would be advisable to bring it indoors for the entire year. When in doubt, I think it is worthwhile to reference the native habitats of the species in question. Is it evergreen or evergreen capable where it originates? I think you might be able to get away with this for a season or two but I would expect to see a decline or less vigor in the subsequent growing season.

I do think being in Maine would necessitate some additional winter protection once temperatures go below freezing. Do you have any idea what kind of temperatures you’re dealing with in the garage in the middle of winter?


That’s a good question, I dont know yet for sure. I’m planning on putting a temp sensor out there once it gets colder. If I had to guess from last winter, I would say it’s at least 5-10 degrees warmer then the outside temp.

1 Like

I suppose it would be helpful to say that actual temperatures (minus windchill) get down as low as 0 degrees farenheit for a few weeks in late January but typically range from 10-20ish degrees for most of the winter.

My 20 yo dawn redwood forest has survived happily on the ground, up against a cinder block wall with cinder block windbreaker, at -15 F for a week. (Zone 6) Leaf mulch. Stacked judiceously. Throw a tarp over at +15F. Light snow cover helps. They were bare root finger size from a Montana supplier… Lawyers.
(The cinder blocks are my summer benches, the 2x6 ceader boards supports the tarp against heavy snow…)
I also use a 30 yo 4x20 kiwi arbor for the same purpose. Last winter root temp minimum was 28F. (Remember the mice poison cups…)
I`v only had my coastal redwood for 1 winter. At 10 F. Looks happy.
Sadly the 10 yo bald cypress may have needed more protection. Dont get them her very often. Other members here DO ok with them. Want another.
The only time I have obviously lost healthy trees to winter was when I kept them in a garage… dessicated, despite watering and supplemental lighting. Very large Black pine and a small horse chestnut. Did not mulch. Keeps humidity even. Especially when not froze solid.
Had not thought about Maine winters… brutal! You have my sympathies. My philosophy has always been: grow what survives here… If it doesn’t survive, I didn’t need it anyway…

It is somewhat brutal lol. I moved from Buffalo,NY and believe it or not even though its slightly colder here, we get significantly less snow, so I’ll take it :joy: . The tree is extremely healthy and has produced very rigorous growth this year. However it is very young. The trunk is maybe a half inch in diameter. I’m worried that it may be slightly less hardy to the cold and I’m not sure how it was handled last winter as I acquired it this spring. I think my plan at this point is to keep it in the garage this year and see how it does. I know it gets around freezing bc even when the door is shut you can see your breath. I’ll definitely monitor the temp to ensure it stays below 42. Essentially just trying to keep the wind chill off and protect from the most brutal days of winter. I’m stubborn in sticking to only varieties that can handle my climate. My interest is too wide, so I’ll do what I must :smile:. I appreciate everyone’s input, maybe I’ll post an update as it gets colder and let you know how it does.