dawn redwood. Is it messy?

lcademSeptember 9, 2012

Hi all

My plan for my garden is evolving.

The current version sees a grove of ogon dawn redwoods where my gas tank and laundry willl be hanging. I am concerned that the redwoods might secrete resin or stuff that will stain the clothes hung to dry. Right now we have two austrian pines in that area and they are making a mess...

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

it is a deciduous conifer ... so at least in fall its messy

otherwise its sublime ...


    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 6:54PM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

If you are familiar with bald cypress it will be near identical.

That is, the small needles and cones disappear into your grass in the fall. Even if you keep it like a golf course one mowing will grind them up. The cones are dime sized so they are a non issue as well.

I do not see how any tree could be less messy.

Biggest decision is to limb it up for a straight trunk or leave it natural with the buttressed trunk.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 7:43PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

I am concerned that the redwoods might secrete resin or stuff that will stain the clothes hung to dry.

===>>> technically it is NOT a redwood ...

its Metasequoia glyptostroboides ....

so if your info is based on research about redwoods.. then you need to use the latin for more precise information ...


    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 7:38AM
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I'd be more concerned about the birds that hang out in the dawn redwood (or plain old redwood, for that matter), as far as your laundry is concerned.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 10:16AM
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gardener365(5b Illinois USA)

No sap mess.


    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 10:41AM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

Ken, I agree the full name is needed to be clear but it IS a redwood.

The three redwood subfamily genera are: Sequoia and Sequoiadendron of California and Oregon, USA; and Metasequoia in China.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 10:54AM
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It is NOT a messy tree. It's my partner's fav tree, awesomely lovely in the landscape and nowhere the 'needle' persistance on the ground as that under white pine. It does just disappear into the turf.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 11:02AM
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We have a dawn redwood and unfortunately, I have to disagree with tornado. While this tree is beautiful, it is extremely messy. Ours is quite large and was planted too close to the house. The needles dispersed in the fall are everywhere. They cover the driveway, the walkway, the deck. Get tracked into the house, cars, homes we visit. Its pretty bad. We constantly sweep, vacuum and clean but it a losing battle until at the least the first heavy snow. Then we get some reprieve until it melts etc. Spring is a real sloppy mess.

They get caught in the cracks of the deck, mix with dirt and form a barrier that keeps the water from draining. Sweeping the deck can make it worse because it pushes the needles into the cracks. We clean regularly with a power washer and a spackle knife (pushing the needle paste down under the deck) but the moisture that sits on the deck from lack of draining is ruining the wood.

The cones....hurt. Even in shoes, they hurt to walk on. There is no sneaking into our driveway during the fall. Sometimes I swear I'm going to pop a tire. But at least the cones are easier to clean. The needles are impossible. I'll rake leaves all fall long without complaint, but cleaning up after this tree is impossible.

Again, don't get me wrong. This tree is gorgeous and from May - September, I love it. I love the redwood and its beautiful view but it is by far the messiest of the 10-12 trees on our property. The butternut tree coming in a very, very close 2nd (nuts nuts everywhere).

Plant it far from your actual living space. Where you can enjoy watching it shoot up 3' a year. Where you don't have to really clean up after it on a regular basis. That is where this beautiful tree belongs.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2013 at 9:45PM
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ours are still young, less than 20' tall, but they are not a mess at all. They are not close to a deck or anything I have to sweep. They needles are small and fine, and I could see where they would be a pain to sweep, but they EASILY mulch into grass.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 11:49PM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

jagirl, I think I can appreciate how the needles could get into tight spots and gutter guards could be an issue. I like your phrase "too close to the house". I will amend my statement to say out in the yard mine is no trouble.

I had three white ash overhanging the house when I moved it. Funny how the seeds of the one out in the yard never get noticed but I made a frown at the ones falling into my gutters! There is also a virtual thicket of walnuts in my back yard so my mower gets to shoot some nuts at the shed.

Black walnut, now there is a tree not to be planted along the streets!

    Bookmark   September 4, 2013 at 3:01AM
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The Dawn Redwood is in general an admirable and beautiful choice. Give it the room it will eventually need an there will be no problems. The dropped needles have never been a problem with my tree. However, the do self prune smaller branches. You will sometimes see half inch or smaller diameter branches under the tree. These have been naturally dropped by the tree and not a sign of stress etc. Just pick them up and dispose as you see fit. They will not hurt if the fall on your head.

In the right place, this tree will give, literally, hundreds of years of pleasure and they grow fast enough that you will be able to enjoy as well.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 6:22PM
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