I need ideas on how to protect a redwood (Dawn?) tree from harsh winters.
I live on Cape Cod, MA and I have what I think is a Dawn Redwood I planted about 8 yers ago. The first couple of winters weren't too bad and the tree did well, growing to about 10 ft. even after the first leader branch was broken by snow. This past winter we had 4 brutal nor'easters with very low temperatures and high winds. The whole tree turned brown and I thought it was a goner. But I fertilized it in early May and it now has good growth at the ends of every branch. Another bad winter may do it in completely, but I would like to give it a chance. It gets lots of midday sun, is close to a 5' fence, and has good, acidic soil under 2" of leaf mulch. Is there anything I can do to offer more protection, short of building a fort around it? Would a dessicant be of any help?
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
If your tree is in fact a Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia g.) then it is a deciduous tree which looses it leaves in the winter and goes dormant until leafing out again in spring. It is native to central China so it should take your Ma winters. If it is a coast redwood or giant sequoia then it is a evergreen tree and not well suited for cold tolerance in your zone. Not really a good selection.
As far as protection from cold and snow loads, I can only imagine staking or a constructed structure to cover it. Have you seen photos of Japanese garden trees being protected for winter weather with a framework?