Ask a Question forum: Help! Sequoia babies in Switzerland need help!

Views: 187, Replies: 15 » Jump to the end
Name: Sequoia fan from Cal
Switzerland
Swisssequoiafarm
Oct 3, 2017 6:14 AM CST
Someone please help!
(to the Moderator: if my questions are in the wrong category please advise...)
Hello everyone, 15 months ago I started a small Sequoia Farm here in Switzerland because all such trees here are small (only 50-150 years old) and very few in numbers.

When I leave my 15 month-old Sequoias outside in nice, sunny weather all eventually turn yellow, then brown/red at the tips of the branches (not at the tips of the needles, but 5mm of every branch tip), then the whole tree will turn brown/red, and die, if I don't bring them back inside. Some of them even turn into an ugly grey-green colour if they get too much sun (no matter how little or how much water).
When I put them back inside a south-facing sunny window for a week or two they all turn green and healthy again.

Questions: Why do they die if I leave them in the outside in the sun too long??!
Also why are they winter-hard only from their third year (according to the directions on the packet of seeds)? How on earth do they survive in the wild if they are in danger the first 3 years?

Lastly, I'm tired of waiting for these to become winter-hard so I'm buying a few (ready-to-plant) Sequoias from a special Garden Shop. Can anyone please give me planting tips for planting my first Sequoias outside?

Someone please help! I want our future generations to enjoy these long after I am gone...
At this time the pictured trees are mostly recovered. At this time I've no really good photos of the branch tips turning yellow-red-brown as all are inside (again) recovering from (sunburn?)
Thanks!
Thumb of 2017-10-03/Swisssequoiafarm/85eb53


Thumb of 2017-10-03/Swisssequoiafarm/c985f8

Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)

Region: United States of America Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Procrastinator
Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener Houseplants
Image
plantladylin
Oct 3, 2017 6:52 AM CST
Hi Swisssequoiafarm, Welcome!
I commend you for growing the beautiful Giant Sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) from seed!

I can't offer much advice since due to our high heat and humidity, those amazing trees won't grow here in Florida U.S.A. where I live. My first thought was that your seedlings may be turning yellow due to the sudden change in conditions from moving them outside. For many plants, when they are started inside, you must gradually acclimate them from a sunny window sill location to being outside in direct sunlight. I don't think leaving them outside for extended periods would harm them unless the soil is drying out very quickly but since they've survived 15 months, I wonder if the issue could be due to a soil pathogen or fungal infection of some sort?

Hopefully someone who knows Sequoia trees will be along to offer advice. I do hope you can save your little trees and I wish you much success with your Sequoia farm!
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
Image
Philipwonel
Oct 3, 2017 6:58 AM CST
Your best bet would be to start them in early spring, outside, in direct sun.

The ones you allready have need to be introduced very slowly to direct sun. Maybe like an hour of morning sun for a few/several days. Then 2 hours, a few days. Then 3, a few days. Ect. Ect.
Since they seem so sensitive.
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Image
DaisyI
Oct 3, 2017 6:38 PM CST
Welcome!

It takes a couple weeks, minimum, to acclimate plants to new conditions. You are burning those little Sequoia trees up.

If you do as Philip suggests and start the seeds outside in full sun, those trees will be acclimated.

Now to your old trees: Giant Sequoia do grow new branches were they lose old ones so chances are if you let your little trees acclimate properly, they will do just fine outside. And grow new branches to replace the missing ones.

To introduce your trees to full sun, start by finding a shady spot outside to leave them for a week. Slowly move them to a sunnier and sunnier position until they are were you want them to be. Putting them in the sun for an hour, than two, etc. will still result in burned plants. Its not the duration of sun but the amount - full sun (even in small doses) is just too much.

If you buy new trees, they too will burn unless you acclimate them.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Oct 3, 2017 8:19 PM CST
Just an additional thought to add to the above good advice. In their natural setting, sequoia seedlings would grow in the shade of the mother tree for many years before they would (gradually) reach high enough to be in the full sun. They "acclimate" themselves in this way. Grow, big deep roots before they are exposed to the ravages of sunlight, too.

This also might explain the reason why they are not winter hardy until their third year - the tree canopy of the parent trees protects them while they are small, and have immature root systems.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Image
DaisyI
Oct 4, 2017 4:00 PM CST
I grew up near Giant Sequoia country and this is what I know...

Sequoiadendron giganteum (Giant Sequoia) grows in a very narrow swath (only about 15 miles wide) on the west slope of the Sierra Nevada between the elevations of 3000 - 8000 ft. All the groves (and the trees that have been added in areas outside the groves) are on deep granite based sandy loam with groundwater. The humidity stays relatively high and the groundwater provides moisture (and humidity) during the warm dry summer months. The winters are mild but do get 5 or 6 feet of snow. The Hardiness Zone is 6 - 8 (winter lows between -10 F and 15 F).

They occur in mixed conifer forests - the "stands" of Sequoias are actually just Sequoias that occur in the middle of a forest that has the right conditions. I think most of their neighbor trees are White Fir, but also Red Fir, Ponderosa Pine, and Incense Cedar, depending upon elevation.

The seedlings that do the best and grow the fastest are in the sun. The shaded trees are slower growing and scraggly. The fastest way to kill a sequoia seedling is with low humidity and loamy organic soil. Fire is needed to open the cones. To germinate, the seeds need clear ground in sandy soil and cool winter dampness.

We had a couple in our yard in California Zone 8. They did okay but not spectacularly - I think because of the heat. In my yard now, I have a 3 year old Giant Sequoia living on the north side of my house by a wall to protect it from the harsh winter winds. I planted it at about 3 inches and its now 30 inches tall. In summer, its in full sun (in winter, only morning sun because I live so far north).

Hope this helps.

Thumb of 2017-10-04/DaisyI/276dcf

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost
Name: Carol
Santa Ana, ca
Sunset zone 22
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California Plant Identifier
Image
ctcarol
Oct 4, 2017 6:21 PM CST
Um, Daisey, I know they are slow growing, but why would you plant one that close to the house? Confused
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Image
DaisyI
Oct 4, 2017 7:38 PM CST
Because its a natural dwarf - it will top out at 6 ft. There are quite a few dwarf cultivators developed from Witches Broom. I also have a Dawn Redwood against the same wall. Smiling
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost
Name: Carol
Santa Ana, ca
Sunset zone 22
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California Plant Identifier
Image
ctcarol
Oct 4, 2017 8:18 PM CST
Wow! I did not know they had developed those.
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Oct 4, 2017 8:43 PM CST
Can't help but think that a dwarf cultivar of a "Giant Sequoia" is sort of ironic. It's really pretty though.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Image
DaisyI
Oct 4, 2017 10:15 PM CST
dyzzypyxxy said:Can't help but think that a dwarf cultivar of a "Giant Sequoia" is sort of ironic.


No, that would be when Giant Sequoias are turned into Bonsai. Rolling on the floor laughing
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
Image
Philipwonel
Oct 5, 2017 9:26 AM CST
Fresno CA is at 300 ft elevation. Sunset garden zones 8 and 9 cut right threw city.
Giant Sequoias grow hear. I have a friend with one. Its 30 feet or better. While driving school bus.i took kids on field trip to Cobbs Christmas Tree Farm. Right on edge of town.
I went on the tour with the kids. Christmas Trees they grow, are ! 😮 ! GIANT SEQUOIAS !!!
WAAH ! I wanted some skinny on this. nodding So, i asked the most questions.
Mr. Cobb said : They grow fastest hear, about a foot a year, and turn out perfect 5 to 6 foot trees in 5 years. They also sell them in, different size containers, for people who want to plant one.

Now ! As far as why ? the isolated groves in the Sierra Mountains. Those groves were saved, by conservation efforts. The logging companies, wanted the biggest trees. The giant sequoias.
😎😎😎




Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Sequoia fan from Cal
Switzerland
Swisssequoiafarm
Oct 12, 2017 3:11 AM CST
Thanks everyone for your thoughtful help! But my Sequoias did start outside in the spring about 16-17 months ago, then most turned into that strange grey-green colour, or got (burnt?) branch tips.

Questions:
1.) if inside my window gets full, warm/hot sun 1/2 a day, and my garden gets the same plus maybe an extra hour in the evening - what's the difference?
2.) The first Winter here killed most. (here is mild: it hardly freezes, and 50° or warmer in waves). Thank You! When I brought the survivors inside they thrived again. Can I leave them outside this Winter?
3.) My store-bought Sequoias are here (3ft. tall!:) When I picked them up they were already outside. Can I plant them directly into the ground in the nearby forest this Saturday with no other preparations?
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
Image
Philipwonel
Oct 12, 2017 8:25 AM CST
Are there any giant sequoias growing in the wild around you ???
What is your elevation???

Difference in outdoor lite and indoor lite is, glass filters out alot of UV rays. To high of an elevation, means more UV rays, that could burn them or make it impossible for them to grow.
I'm going to guess the store bought ones were under a shade cloth. Humm???

You may want or need to mimic mother nature ! and position your sequoias within the shelter of other trees. Shade/filtered lite, thats how they grow most of there life in the wild, sheltered by other trees. And if you hang around, for a few hundred years, they will overtake the rest of other trees.
OR D'Oh! Bling ! Build a Shade cloth enclosure around them.
Either way. I bet would work !

Have a wonderfully good day !
Philip 😎😎😎
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Sequoia fan from Cal
Switzerland
Swisssequoiafarm
Oct 13, 2017 7:02 PM CST
Thanks for your answers again! Zürich is only about 1300ft elevation, and yes, there are around 80-90 100ft Sequoias here -and- all in full sun! How did they manage??
*So why do mine (the babies, not the new ones) turn yellow, then brown after 4-8 weeks outside??* How long do they need to acclimate?
The new Sequoias I just bought do have yellow (burnt) tips and they were outside when I bought them. I assume they were under some kind of shady cloth in the plant nursery before that.
I'm planting 3 Sequoias in the morning; 2 in a forest and 1 on a small island in the lake of Zürich which would be full sun most of the day -hmmm, maybe I shouldn't do that? I would really appreciate any advise before I do this tomorrow (today, as it's already 3:am here).
As a reward for helping me I'll take some photos of our bigger local Sequoias and post them for you all
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Image
DaisyI
Oct 13, 2017 7:47 PM CST
DaisyI said:I grew up near Giant Sequoia country and this is what I know...

Sequoiadendron giganteum (Giant Sequoia) grows in a very narrow swath (only about 15 miles wide) on the west slope of the Sierra Nevada between the elevations of 3000 - 8000 ft. All the groves (and the trees that have been added in areas outside the groves) are on deep granite based sandy loam with groundwater. The humidity stays relatively high and the groundwater provides moisture (and humidity) during the warm dry summer months. The winters are mild but do get 5 or 6 feet of snow. The Hardiness Zone is 6 - 8 (winter lows between -10 F and 15 F).

They occur in mixed conifer forests - the "stands" of Sequoias are actually just Sequoias that occur in the middle of a forest that has the right conditions. I think most of their neighbor trees are White Fir, but also Red Fir, Ponderosa Pine, and Incense Cedar, depending upon elevation.

The seedlings that do the best and grow the fastest are in the sun. The shaded trees are slower growing and scraggly. The fastest way to kill a sequoia seedling is with low humidity and loamy organic soil. Fire is needed to open the cones. To germinate, the seeds need clear ground in sandy soil and cool winter dampness.

We had a couple in our yard in California Zone 8. They did okay but not spectacularly - I think because of the heat. In my yard now, I have a 3 year old Giant Sequoia living on the north side of my house by a wall to protect it from the harsh winter winds. I planted it at about 3 inches and its now 30 inches tall. In summer, its in full sun (in winter, only morning sun because I live so far north).

Hope this helps.

Thumb of 2017-10-04/DaisyI/276dcf



Yes, I am quoting myself. Sighing!

I was hoping by telling you how and where they grow in situ, that some connectons would be made. Another Sighing!

Sun

Humidity

Ground water

Porous gravily soil

The elevation has to do with where the porous gravily soil, ground water and mild temperatures all come together. California is a big bowl with layers at different elevations. Above the Sequoia belt, the conditions are right (gravelly granite and ground water) but its just too cold. Just below the Sequoia belt is where gold is found (in a quartz layer). Below that is a layer of serpentine (the California state rock and a natural source of asbestos). And below that, river bottom country.

Sequoias grow much better and faster in the sun. As I am not there wiith you, I can't tell what your exact growing conditions are.

Buying more trees won't solve your problem. To be successful in this endeavor, you need to take the knowledge you have gained here and put it to work.

Have you pulled any of your browning plants out of their pots and looked at the roots? That would be a good start.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Ask a Question forum
Only the members of the Members group may reply to this thread.

Member Login:

Username:

Password:

[ Join now ]

Today's site banner is by Baja_Costero and is called "Alluaudia"