The Q&A Archives: wilting redwoods

Question: My wife and I purchased three Sequoia Redwoods, about 8 feet high. We planted them, hole twice as big, mixed with some sort of planting mix, and have watered them everyday, a gallon in the morning, and they are just not looking too well. The branches are limp. What should I do? Bob Young

Answer: It's important to plant trees at the same soil level as they were growing before (you should be able to see the soil mark on the trunk). It sounds as though, when you say you dug the hole twice as deep, that they may be planted too deeply. If so, it's best to dig and replant them at the proper level. If you leave them, the bark can rot and the tree can die. If you planted them at the proper depth, you won't need to dig and replant. Your redwoods will need one deep soaking each week in order to establish their roots. Daily watering can over-saturate the soil, driving out all the oxygen. This can suffocate the roots. Tree roots need both oxygen and moisture so adjust your watering schedule before it's too late.

It isn't unusual for trees and shrubs to go through a stressful adjustment period after being transplanted. Wilting and even some leaf loss is normal. But, as soon as it adjusts it will perk up.

The bottom line is to make sure they're planted at the right soil level, and cut back on the watering. I think your trees will adjust within a few weeks.

Best wishes with your new trees.

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