The Golden Redwood ‘Ogon Fusion’
Metasequoia glyptostroboides ‘Ogon’ is the golden variety of Dawn Redwood. This deciduous conifer produces brilliant yellow leaves in spring that slowly turn to light green as summer progresses, but all new growth is yellow, leaving the tree with a constant yellow glow. When the sun shines on this tree it illuminates. The bark is a light gray color and the growth rate is about half of the standard Dawn Redwood.
“Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results.”
In my quest to find the most efficient way to fuse trunks I continue to try and tweak the assembly process. With this project I am going to try a different frame. The frame for my Dawn Redwood did not have enough taper near the apex and this caused me to grow my tree taller than I wanted. I had to go back and remove most of the frame to collapse the trunk to improve the taper and get a shorter more dramatic trunk. With this project I am going to use only enough galvanized wire mesh (about 3 inches tall) to attach the seedlings at the base and anchor them in place. Above the mesh screen the seedlings will use each other for support and thus give me more control of the shape and taper.
I am also scaling down the size of this project for two reasons. First, the large size of my Dawn Redwood project is extremely heavy and difficult to move. Second, I only have 50 seedlings. Ogon is still an uncommon tree and I could only collect a small amount of seed to work with.
There is one problem before I start that cannot be corrected on this project. The seedlings all show signs of genetic variation; they seem to be a variety of yellow shades. Hopefully this is not a major problem. To get consistent color I would need to clone the seedlings by using rooted cuttings. Presently I have 3 two-year-old Ogon trees that are not large enough to create enough cuttings for a fusion project. This might be a future project.
The 3 inch tall frame will allow me better control of the upper trunk.
I tied 4 seedlings to the frame and each other, then added seedlings by splitting the difference. 1/4, 1/8, 1/16 etc.
The new seedlings exit the trunk at the highest point after splitting the difference.
When I could not split the difference any more I was finished.
The assembled tree in the ground is 14 inches tall. My plan is to let it grow to about 24 inches when finished.