Dawn Redwoods Dropping Leaves & Raspberries Not Fruiting

Question:

I have three metasequoias (dawn redwoods). They’re about four years old.  One doing wonderfully, the others were fine until a couple of weeks ago when they began dropping their needles. What is causing the leaves or needles to drop?

Answer:

  • Dawn Redwood is a deciduous redwood unlike the evergreen coast and the giant redwood. They produce small, round a half-inch to one-inch cones. The bright green, feathery leaves turn orange-brown or reddish-brown in the fall before going dormant.
    • The Dawn Redwood is fast-growing and prefers moist well-draining soil. Hence, it’s not widely planted in our area because of our heavy, abobe clay soil.
    • That being said, I don't have much experience with Dawn Redwoods so I'm making an educated guess as to the leaf or needle drop. Also, I'm assuming that these plants were started from seed. If they were propagated from cuttings then the following information doesn't apply. 
  •  Seedlings are the result of two different parents.
    • The gene pool is made up of dominant and resistive genes. The genes determine all characteristics of a plant and each plant is different.
    •   You also need to add in the effect of every changing environmental variables, such as light, and temperature.
  • This is around about way to getting to my answer and that is the plants are dropping their leaves because they're starting to go dormant.    
  • Another example of the early dormancy is flowering Pears and Pistache trees. Here the foliage color of leaves changes as early as mid-August while others wait until November.  Hence, you could have one tree turning color while the one planted next to is green. 

Question:

My raspberries are not producing any berries. They get lots of stems and leaves but no fruit. They get afternoon sun, plenty of water and I feed them in the spring.  Each October I prune them back to about six inches off the ground.  So what an I doing wrong?

Answer:

  • The simple answer is, you’re pruning them wrong.
  • Raspberries plants produce berries on the second year growth or canes. Once, these canes produce they never produce again and they're cut off usually at the ground.
    • The raspberries should be growing on some type of trellis structure but not a fence as they intrude into the neighboring property.  The new growth develops at the bottom or base of the plant(s).
  • After you harvest the berries,  the old fruiting canes are removed the new growth or canes replaces them on the trellis.
    • Now, I'm assuming the original plants came from cuttings and not seeds.  Raspberries are unpredictable from started from seed.  A twist on this is that of everbearing raspberries.
    • Everbearing raspberries (Rubus idaeus) produce fruit in the spring and again in fall. Unlike summer-bearing varieties, which may have purple or black fruit, most everbearing varieties produce red berries.
  •  What you should do now is nothing.  This year's canes will fruit next year and you prune off then.  If you already have pruned, then you’ll need to wait two growing seasons for berries.