I’ve been working on a large coast redwood for the past few years in fits and starts. After an initial pruning and repotting (see “Coast redwood” for details) I’ve worked on the tree in earnest several times only to let it grow out again.
After a few cycles of this, I removed almost all of the branches so I could restart the process from scratch.
After major cutback – October, 2020
The tree has continued to grow vigorously over the past year but again I quickly let it get out of shape.
My goals for developing the tree are to establish new primary branches and improve branch density – a process achieved quickly with frequent pruning and pinching. By keeping the branches I want to ramify short and letting the branches I want to thicken grow freely, I can pursue both goals at once.
After cutback – August, 2021
Because the tree has grown so much in the past two years, it was in need of a repot. I’d only repotted the tree once before so I wanted to reduce the base of the trunk (which had been resting on the bottom of the pot) and remove as much of the old soil as possible.
Here’s what the root ball looked like after removing 1-2 inches of wood from the base of the trunk.
Root ball after cutback – side view
And here’s what the base of the tree looked like after carving it with a reciprocating saw and a power chisel.
After reducing the base of the trunk
I’d hoped to plant the tree in a shallower container but I didn’t have any pots that were right for the tree so I returned it to the unglazed oval it had been growing in.
After cutback and repotting, 44″ tall – December, 2021
I don’t expect the tree to grow much until the weather warms up, but when it does start growing, I’ll attempt to work on it whenever it needs a trim.
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