Planting and Tree Care Suggestions Planting and Tree Care Suggestions

Frequently Asked Questions

For small and medium saplings, please carefully remove the tree from its package. You will next want to plant your sapling in a 2 or 3-gallon container. Choose a potting mix that has a good amount of nutrients to feed your plant for the first season. Your mix should have good drainage. If needed, add extra perlite to your mix for drainage and aeration. When planting, the top of the root plug should be at the top of the soil, do not bury the trunk. After you are finished planting, water your soil around the trunk and place it in a sunny location. If planting during the winter, keep inside until the weather matches your indoor temps. Sequoias like to dry out. Make sure the soil has thoroughly dried out between waterings. When your soil is slightly moist, water your tree again, making sure the entire pot is saturated.

Keep your tree fed for the first few years in its pot. After the first year, you may need to feed your tree with a slow-release nutrient. There are many out on the market for you to choose from. We use Andersons 18-6-12 and Espoma Evergreen Tone 4-3-4. A lot of your local garden centers will carry a 10-10-10 as well, which will work just fine. We recommend a low to medium rate. 

If you are in a location with cold winters, we recommend placing your pot in an unheated garage, shed, or barn for the first few winters. This will keep your roots and tree protected from the freezing cold and wind. When protecting your tree during the winter, your goal is to keep the tree dormant and not warm up your tree. Water your sequoia right before it starts to freeze for the winter. 

After your tree has outgrown its container, it is time to plant your tree in its final location. Spring and Fall are okay for planting. Remember, you are planting the world's largest tree. These trees need plenty of space. We recommend spacing these trees a minimum of 30' away from another tree. If you plan on using these trees as a windbreak or planting in a row, you can shorten that length to 20' apart. Make sure your tree is away from any surrounding buildings or power lines. Dig a hole larger than your container pot. Your surrounding soil should have good drainage. If needed, you can mix some of the native soil with a well-drained potting mix and place it all around the root ball. During the first few years, we recommend protecting your tree during the winter with a wind block. Giving your tree a few feet of space around it, stake a piece of fabric( burlap or landscape fabric works fine) around your tree. This will protect your tree from the freezing wind and help prevent any damage. A slow-release nutrient can also be added during the first few years to help establish the newly planted tree. The wind block can also protect the young tree from any wildlife as well.

For the first few years, while your tree is growing in a container pot, we recommend using a slow-release fertilizer. A few that we have used are Andersons 18-6-12 or Espoma Evergreen tone 4-3-4. We do recommend a low to medium rate. Once the tree is ready to be planted into the ground, make sure a big enough hole is made to add well-draining and nutrient-rich soil. You can always top dress around the tree as well, according to the manufacturer's recommendations. A Fall feeding can be applied, which usually has a lower Nitrogen rate. Early Spring feedings will have a higher Nitrogen rate. You want your sequoia to stop growing towards the end of the season to “harden off.” You do not want new sensitive growth going into the Winter. This allows the new growth to get stronger to survive the Winter better.

Although native to California, the giant sequoia can grow in a wide range of climates down to zone 6. Click here for a zone map. And yes, giant sequoias can grow in Michigan and they are thriving in Michigan's zone 6 areas. Any colder than zone 6, sequoias may not be able to handle the harsh winters. The health of the tree will be dependent on the type of soil and water availability. Sequoias prefer well drained, nutrient rich soil. They are highly adaptable and can grow in denser soil, but will take longer to grow. Depending on location and water availability, you may need to water your sequoia regularly for the first few years.

During the cold winter months, younger sequoias are subject to changing color. This is natural. These are pigments that are already present in the tree that the color brings out. Although it may look like the tree is dying, it is natural and the warmer season will bring the green back into the sequoia. Sequoias that are protected from the wind will most often not experience this. Protecting the tree from snow, a wind break, or in a non heated garage if still in a pot, will help the tree from discoloring.

If your sequoia is still in its 2- or 3-gallon container, place the tree in an unheated garage or shed. This will protect the tree from the wind. The cold, dry wind can cause winter burn. This is where the tips of the tree will die off. If the tree is planted into its final location, for the first few years you can put a wind block around the tree during the winter.

The giant sequoia is the largest tree in the world by volume. It is native to a small area of the western Sierra Nevada mountains of California. This ancient marvel can live for more than 3,000 years and reach more than 300 feet tall. Its large trunk has a cinnamon-red color and is fire-resistant. This tree is highly adaptable and can grow in a wide range of climates. The “General Sherman” is the world’s largest tree and has a base of 36 feet in diameter.