The coastal redwood tree (also called “sequoia”) is named after the son of a British merchant and a Cherokee woman named Sequoyah. It’s also California’s state tree.
These beautiful, awe-inspiring giants typically grow 100 feet tall when fully matured, and some have been known to grow as high as 300 feet tall in natural forests.
Commonly grown on the west coast, the best way to guarantee optimal health and development is to replicate its natural conditions.
Coastal redwoods require full sun and well-drained, sandy and acidic soil. They will not tolerate shade conditions or alkaline, compacted, or salty soils, leading to their demise.
The root systems of coastal redwoods are shallow and wide-spreading. Because of this, it’s best to water at a depth of around 18-24 inches at a diameter of at least 20 feet away from the trunk so roots can adequately absorb the moisture.
Watering should be done every 3-4 weeks in the summer (for well-established trees). More frequent watering might be necessary depending on uncharacteristically high temperatures. For newly planted trees, water weekly for the first five years to ensure it becomes well established in its environment.
Typically, the tree prospers without any supplemental nutrients or fertilizers. However, if needles begin to yellow during the summer, the soil might be too alkaline or neutral, in which case soil supplements would be recommended to restore the proper pH levels.
Coastal redwoods require very little, if any, pruning except for any dead branches. It’s best to leave the needles that fall around the tree’s base, which becomes a naturally occurring mulch called “duff.” This helps retain moisture and insulates the roots.
One benefit of coastal redwoods is that they’re resistant to pests and diseases. So even if they are temporarily impacted, they suffer no long-term adverse effects.
Before growing a coastal redwood on your property, it’s critical to consider its overall size as overhanging branches can be a liability above roofs, and their wide-spreading root structure can damage your home’s foundation.
The USDA recommends planting the tree in hardiness zones 7-9, and if adequately hydrated, it should grow successfully for many years to come.
For more information on caring for coastal redwoods, contact your local SavATree branch today.