The Ultimate Care Guide For Dawn Redwood Bonsai Trees

There are many bonsai trees that you can grow in your home. One of the most unusual and popular trees is the redwood. This tree comes from Northern California and is a perfect addition to anyone’s living room or office.

This article talks about how to grow and take care of the dawn redwood bonsai tree. If you’re new to growing bonsai trees and want to learn more about them, this is the article for you.

What is A dawn redwood Bonsai Tree?

The dawn redwood is a deciduous conifer that grows 120 feet (36 m) tall. Dawn redwoods are fast-growing and are considered to be among the fastest-growing trees in the world.

They have a lifespan of about 500 years and have been known to grow up to 3 feet per year.

The bark of the dawn redwood tree is reddish-brown and fibrous, with a shallowly furrowed appearance.

Like most conifers, dawn redwoods are monoecious, meaning both male and female reproductive organs are contained on the same tree.

The female cones are globular in shape, with scales that have an entire or slightly toothed margin. The seeds have thin wings containing two veins that extend from the base of the seed.

Why Grow dawn redwood Bonsai:

Dawn Redwood is a great choice for growing as a bonsai because of the following reasons.

  • It is one of the fastest-growing bonsai trees.
  • The leaves change color in the fall. The contrast between the dark green summer foliage and rusty orange fall foliage is incredibly striking!
  • The dawn redwood tree has very few pests and diseases problem. So it will be far easier to maintain compared to other bonsai trees.
  • Dawn redwood has very flexible branches so wiring and styling them to different shapes will be easy and fun.
  • Redwood is also a hardy bonsai and can tolerate quite a bit of low temperature.

dawn redwood Bonsai Care Guide

down redwood tree care

Dawn Redwood Bonsai trees are a fun and beautiful choice for bonsai enthusiasts. With proper care, this type of bonsai can be an excellent specimen for years to come. The following information will help guide you to keeping your dawn redwood healthy and happy.

How Often Should I Water dawn redwood Bonsai?

A redwood bonsai needs a lot of water in the sun and you should water the tree twice a day in midsummer. Remember, redwood trees cannot tolerate drought conditions.

Water deeply and wait until the soil surface is dry before watering again. It’s best to water early in the morning so that the leaves have time to dry out before evening.

Overwatering can be just as bad as underwatering; if your redwood bonsai’s leaves turn yellow even when watered regularly, it is probably being overwatered (this can also be caused by too much feeding).

Ideal Location For dawn redwood Bonsai Trees:

Dawn Redwood trees love full sun, so place your redwood bonsai outside for most of the year. When the weather gets too hot move them to a partially shaded area.

If you want to grow them indoors make sure they are placed in a well-lit area like a south-facing window so that they can get ample sunlight throughout the day. Expose the plant to as much natural light as possible. If you’re struggling to provide enough sunlight indoors, supplement with strong artificial lighting.

If you have a very cold climate, bring your bonsai inside for winter to protect it from freezing temperatures.​


Redwoods do not like temperatures below 40 F (5 C). If you live in an area that gets colder than 40 F (5 C), you will need to bring your bonsai inside for winter.

If you have a large enough space, place the redwood bonsai near a sunny window where it can receive as much natural light as possible. Keep the temperature around 60 F (15 C) during winter and don’t let the bonsai dry out.


Redwood bonsai are fast growers and need plenty of fertilizer during the growing season. The tree thrives with a lot of nitrogen and will grow very vigorously if it gets enough fertilizer.

Use an all-purpose bonsai fertilizer to feed the Dawn Redwood bonsai.

Fertilize weekly or biweekly during the growing season, and reduce it to once every two weeks in the summertime. Reduce frequency even more in fall as the tree slows down activity.

How Do You Prune dawn redwood Bonsai?

The dawn redwood bonsai will produce vigorous new growth throughout the year which will need pruning periodically. Pruning keeps your tree healthy, creates new shoots and branches, allows better light penetration, and helps increase air circulation through the foliage.

The tree responds well to pruning and will readily form new shoots. The tree has no apical dominance, so buds at the base of branches are as likely to sprout as those at the end of branches.

This means that you can keep the tree compact by nipping off growing tips or allowing it to grow freely into a larger specimen by leaving them on.

If allowed to grow naturally, the tree will develop taper from the base upwards. You can enhance this effect with initial shaping through pruning and wiring.

After pruning or wiring, it’s important to make sure your bonsai gets enough water and fertilizer for healthy new growth. Water well immediately afterward, and fertilize every other week until new shoots have formed and hardened off (about 2 inches long).

You can use sharp scissors or pruning shears for this job.

Be sure to disinfect your cutting tools between uses with a 10 percent bleach solution.


The dawn redwood grows easily from the seeds.

Collect the seeds in early autumn when they have ripened but have not yet dropped from their cones. Use a plastic bag to catch them when they fall from the cones.

The seeds usually germinate readily if planted in fertile soil. To speed up germination, soak the seeds in water for 24 hours before planting them. Water them regularly until they sprout.

You can also easily propagate your dawn redwood bonsai through cuttings.

To do that select a healthy shoot and prepare a cutting that includes two or three leaves and 4-5 inches of stem.

Dip the cut end in powdered rooting hormone, place the stem in a small pot with moist soil and cover it with plastic wrap to maintain humidity.

Place the pot in bright but indirect light and keep the soil moist until roots form. Once roots have grown you can plant your new redwood bonsai tree in a larger pot.


The Dawn Redwood Bonsai is an excellent tree for formal and informal upright styles.

This tree has a straight trunk and horizontal branches with a flat top. In nature, the branches tend to be more upright. The best styling technique is to encourage the growth of upright branches by pruning the lower limbs and wiring the upper ones to create a canopy.

As with any tree, the styling and the desired shape of the dawn redwood bonsai take time to achieve.

Shaping The dawn redwood Bonsai

Dawn redwood responds well to wiring and should be wired when the branches are still young and flexible; otherwise, they might break under the pressure of the wire.

If you are going to wire your dawn redwood bonsai, do so in the fall or winter when the sap is not moving as much. If you wire in the spring or summer, you will need to keep an eye on it to make sure that the wire does not start cutting into the branches and trunk.

You may also want to tape over areas where you have wired two branches together to make sure that they do not rub against each other and cause damage to the bark.

Also remember that wiring will change the look of your Dawn Redwood Bonsai as it grows, so be prepared for some minor pruning in future years to keep it looking good.

How Often Should I Repot dawn redwood Bonsai?

The roots of a dawn redwood tree grow quickly and aggressively especially when they are young. So repotting becomes very important for the tree to survive.

Repot your redwood bonsai every two years in early spring before new growth begins. for older trees, you can repot every three years.

You can do strong root pruning at the time of repotting to make room for new root growth. Use fast-draining bonsai soil to avoid root rot.

After you have repotted the bonsai, keep it in a partially sheltered location until the tree gets established.

Matching Bonsai Pots:

When choosing the right bonsai pot, you should think about the size of the tree and whether you want to use an unglazed or glazed pot.

Dawn redwood bonsais can be placed in large ceramic pots that are not too deep, but they also look great in a classic Japanese bonsai dish. The dish should be slightly wider than the crown of the tree.

For more detailed information on this, check out our post on how to choose a bonsai pot.

Pests and Diseases:

A dawn redwood bonsai tree is mostly pest-free. However, aphids, spider mites, scale insects, and thrips occasionally infest dawn redwood bonsai.

The best approach to control these pests is to spray the tree with a forceful stream of water two or three times each week. Isolate any infected bonsai until it recovers completely.

Dropping Needles:

This species has an unusual tendency to drop all of its leaves at one time when they turn bright colors in autumn. As long as your bonsai has been healthy during the growing season, this is absolutely normal and there is no need for concern.

Flowers, Fruits:

The dawn redwood is monoecious, producing both male and female flowers on the same tree. When mature, it will produce small cones that contain many winged seeds.


As the dawn redwood reaches maturity, its bark begins to peel off in strips. The inner bark is a beautiful orange color.

Younger trees have smooth grey bark which eventually develops ridges and grooves with age.


If you are familiar with the joys of raising bonsai, growing Redwood is a definite must. Dawn Redwood can be grown indoors or outdoors, and despite having evergreen foliage, it is deciduous.

This means that its needles will shed during the winter season and this is what makes this tree quite distinctive from other types of Bonsai trees.

It’s really quite simple to raise one if you have some basic information about this tree species, and with the right knowledge, tips, and equipment you can help your Dawn Redwood thrive.

I hope this post was super easy to understand and provided you with many great tips.