Redwoods are coniferous trees and are regarded as some of the tallest trees in the world. The name redwood originates from the distinctive cinnamon-red bark and wood of these trees. They have been around for nearly 240 million years, making them one of the oldest living tree types on the planet. Redwoods are also considered ecological wonders, as they can create their own rain to meet the water requirement by capturing coastal fog through their branches and leaves.
Even though redwoods are native to California, several species are a popular sight in urban Portland. Curious to know more about the trees with a red center? Our experts at Mr. Tree have put together a list of redwood trees you should know more about. We will also tell you about the common mistakes to avoid if you’re planting redwoods in your yard.
Popular Varieties of Redwood Trees
Here are some of the common redwood trees that you can consider for landscaping:
1. Coast Redwood
These are the tallest trees in the world and are commonly found along the northern California coast and southernmost coastal Oregon. Riverbeds and flood plains rich in nutrients provide the perfect landscape for the lush growth of coast redwood. The trees also benefit from the heavy rains and fog during winter, which helps them retain moisture to survive drought-like conditions in the summer.
These trees can grow up to 379 feet tall and live for more than 2,000 years. They grow very fast and provide high-quality timber. However, felling this tree is now illegal in several states. The leaves of coast redwood are evergreen. These trees are sensitive to frost and require adequate moisture to survive.
2. Dawn Redwood
Although dawn redwoods are native to the river valleys of central and western China, they also feature on the list of heritage trees of Portland. The first dawn redwood in Oregon dates back 5 million years.
These trees with red centers are a popular option for landscaping, as they aren’t too big in height. On average, these trees mature to a height between 75 and 100 feet. They require exposure to full sunlight and do well in loamy, well-drained soil. The leaves are comparatively smaller than the California variant. Dawn redwoods have needle-shaped small stalks arranged on the opposite sides of the stem. They are deciduous trees.
It’s advisable to plant these trees closer to a water source. Make sure to provide at least one inch of water every week for optimal moisture retention. Larger trees tend to absorb water at a faster rate. So keep an eye out—as soon as the soil feels too dry, it’s time to water.
As these trees grow fairly quickly, they need regular trimming and pruning to keep them in shape. They are also susceptible to Japanese beetles and spider mites. So make sure you inspect the trees frequently to detect the first signs of an infestation.
3. Giant Sequoia
The giant sequoia is one of the most massive trees on earth. They are also known as Sierra redwoods, as they grow in the Sierra Nevada mountain range at between 5,000 and 7,000 feet above sea level. Sequoia trees can live up to 3,000 years and grow up to a height of 300 feet. The trees also have gray-green and cord-like needles surrounding the shoot.
They have an extremely thick bark that is resistant to fires, fungal rot, and wood-boring beetles, making them one of the hardiest trees in the world. A giant sequoia also requires an extraordinary amount of water for sustenance. They do well in well-drained soil and require full sunlight for optimal growth. The wood from giant sequoia is quite brittle, making them less ideal to be used as lumber.
Giant sequoia trees are also popular in Portland, and some of the trees date back to as early as 1900. Bear in mind that these trees are intolerant to shade from other mixed conifer species. Since these trees usually grow in a pyramidical fashion, there’s a possibility the branches can come too close to the roof or sidewalls of the house. In such cases, pruning the lower limbs of the tree is recommended.
Common Mistakes to Avoid When You Have Planted Redwood Trees
When planting redwood trees, many don’t take into account the growth of the roots. The roots of these trees can extend significantly—you can expect them to be 6 to 12 feet wide. If the roots don’t get enough space to grow, especially if the tree is planted in enclosed areas such as a patio or deck, they will grow out and damage your house. You may end up requiring an extensive renovation to undo the damage. So make sure there is enough room for the roots to grow out properly.
Due to their size, these trees also need a great deal of water. Lack of adequate watering can create a lot of stress on the trees and result in wilting or yellowing leaves. If you notice these signs in your redwood tree, it’s a clear indication that it isn’t receiving enough water. To combat the problem, you can install a drip irrigation system to ensure that the roots receive moisture.
Another common mistake is skipping regular pruning. Pruning plays an essential role in maintaining the shape and overall health of redwood trees. Damaged branches or branches infested with pests or disease should be pruned immediately to protect the structural integrity of the tree. Not scheduling timely pruning of damaged branches can result in considerable destruction to your house or other property.
However, incorrect pruning can altogether maim the tree—that’s why it’s essential to employ professionals for the job, as they use the right equipment to prune your trees and protect them from any further damage. If you’re looking for an arborist to take care of pruning and maintenance needs, our team at Mr. Tree is here to help. We have significant experience in trimming, pruning, stump grinding, and removing trees appropriately. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.