Dawn Redwood - Late Fall 2019
Just a little bit over a year ago, our Dawn Redwood looked like this. It had mostly browned-out and was ready to shed all of it's needles. Today, you see it above - a mix of brown and green and most of the needles still hanging on. If you look closely, you'll see that I've attached a bamboo shoot to the top 1/3rd of the tree. I did right before Halloween when we had that heavy snowfall come down.
If you look back at the 2019 tree inventory post, you'll remember that this tree grew 3 full feet this season. And that the tip of the leader was all green. That means that it is pretty weak and thin. That snow fall was tipping this thing over and I was worried that it would snap off - like the Pear Tree we had in our old backyard in Elmhurst did in 2010. I haven't fastened it all the way to the base of the tree, but I'm thinking that's ok. I'm trying to protect the most vulnerable part - the green growth at the very top - from Winter damage.
This tree was a lot lower maintenance that last year - or at least I seemed to pay it a lot less attention this year, so I'm going to assume that it has established itself even more fully this year and should have no trouble coming through the Winter - even if we get another Polar Vortex.
I haven't pruned or limb'd up this tree at all and based on what happened with my first Dawn Redwood (died. And was limb'd up) and this one (has grown and not touched), I'm going to give it at least one more season to just be a tree. I'm eager for it to get some height, but based on this year's growth (36" of new height), that's going to happen.
I also have been thinking about what I would add to that section of the yard to create a little, gentle curve out in the lawn. Some sort of tall, focal-point tree that would go a little southwest of this Redwood to create some 'hidden' part of the yard. Probably a narrow tree - like one of these here - and using the layering principles, some sort of evergreen trees combined with a shade tree.
I think I'll have to put it on my 2020 to-do list.