A new kind of Redwood
Bill Libby with Christmas tree hedge proudly holding a four-year-old tree for Christmas time.
This new cultivar of coast redwood Sequoia sempervirens redwood was discovered as a part of a reasearch project investigating the maturation state of rooted cuttings taken from several crown levels in 300 -500- year-old redwoods growing near Kobel, Humbolt County, Californian. It was orginally collected in 1966 as six cuttings from the upper crown of a 500-year-old tree. It was observed that six small trees from those cuttings were consistently and substantially different from all the other trees in the experiment.
Compared to most coastal redwoods KKT grows more slowly and thus does not quickly out grow the site.
KKT has a denser, more symmetric crown and tighter branch habit, than most coastal redwoods resembling a giant sequoia in this regard. It does not bronze in the winter, keeping a bluish green colour.
As a hedge under power lines or where height control is desired, KKT initiates vertically growing shoots from the tops of its cut main stem. These can be removed to keep a flat hedge or they can be thinned to one per hedge plant, allowed to grow and harvested as Christmas trees on a 4 to 5 year cycle without damaging the integerity of the hedge. In subsequent years,faster growth can be obtained with irrigation and fertilizer which feeds the hedge and grows the Christmas trees quicker.
Unique Features as a cut Christmas tree.
In the heat of the Californian summer, Iris and Bill Libby conducted a 4th of July cut Christmas tree experiment with Kobel KT.
Two trees were cut and stood indoors, one received no water, the other was stood in a bucket of water. They were assessed every two weeks. The first two weeks both were fresh looking. Four weeks later the tree without water was starting to turn and look dry. Six weeks the tree without water was dry and crisp looking and was discarded.
Eight weeks later the tree in the water was perfectly fresh and starting to sprout from the stem.
Iris decorated the tree and it won first prize in the redwood section at the Califorian Christmas tree growers convention.