Note the soft, feathery golden leaves.
This baby Dawn Redwood, a rare* and beautiful tree that will one day tower over the new Rodeno clone Sangiovese vines soon to be planted, is supposed to be golden. Most visitors comment worriedly about its yellow [read: sick] leaves.
I, too, admit to thinking my little redwood was dying last winter when all the needles turned brown and fell off. I learned later that this "Gold Rush" cultivar is deciduous, a surprise to Californians accustomed to coast redwoods, aka Sequoia sempervirens.
If you have friends who love to garden, this tree is a wonderful gift. I owe mine to my brother, the Ardent Gardener and the Groundskeeper at www.yourgardenshow.com. Thanks, Mark!
* Metasequoia Glyptostroboides fossils from a million years ago have been found in Japan; long thought to be extinct, the tree was rediscovered in China in 1944. Fast growing, they will reach 50' in 20 years, and eventually 100 feet.
Next, a crew will remove the churned-up rocks.
Note the orange bar on the back of this tractor. Attached to its ends are curved shanks that are ripping this virgin corner of our vineyard in Oakville for a small, dense Sangiovese planting. Loosening the soil will allow young vines to spread strong root systems. This experienced operator effortlessly avoided my cherished baby Dawn Redwood (yellow flag, left center). The whole job took less than half an hour.