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Redwood, Dawn Metasequoia glyptostroboides

Redwood, Dawn - Metasequoia glyptostroboides
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An ancient tree that knew the dinosaurs but is well-suited to modern landscape plantings. Dawn Redwood is a deciduous conifer producing small, round 1/2" to 1" cones. It has a neat pyramidal shape in youth, maturing into a more rounded crown. The bright green, feathery leaves turn orange-brown or reddish-brown in the fall. Fast-growing and easily transplanted. Likes full sun and prefers moist, deep, well-drained soils. One of the fastest-growing trees available. Grows to 70'–100', with a 25' spread. (zones 5-8) Note: Dawn Redwood grows late in the season and may be damaged by early fall freezes. Plant early enough in the fall to allow the roots to become established and avoid planting in a low-lying area (frost pocket).

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Zones 5 - 8 Zones 5 - 8
Hardiness Zones 5 - 8
The Dawn Redwood can be expected to grow in the zones shown in color in the arborday.org zone map. View Map
Shade Tree Shade Tree
Type of tree
Shade Trees
70' - 100' High 70' - 100' High
Mature Height
The Dawn Redwood grows to be 70' - 100' feet in height.
25' Spread 25' Spread
Mature Spread
The Dawn Redwood has a spread of about 25' at full maturity.
Fast Growth Fast Growth
Growth Rate
This tree grows at a fast growth rate. More about this.
Full Sun Full Sun
Sun
This redwood does well in full sun.
Various Soils Various Soils
Soil
The Dawn Redwood grows in acidic, loamy, moist, sandy, well drained, wet, clay soils.
Pyramidal Shape Pyramidal Shape
Shape
This redwood has pyramidal shape.
Attributes

The Dawn Redwood is a beautiful tree in parks, golf courses and other sites large enough to accommodate its size. On good sites, its growth is rapid, with one tree in Virginia having reached 120' in 30 years! It is relatively care-free and is a tough and beautiful specimen tree in any large landscape. Always a conversation piece thanks to its history.

Description

An ancient tree that knew the dinosaurs but is well-suited to modern landscape plantings. Dawn Redwood is a deciduous conifer producing small, round 1/2" to 1" cones. It has a neat pyramidal shape in youth, maturing into a more rounded crown. The bright green, feathery leaves turn orange-brown or reddish-brown in the fall. Fast-growing and easily transplanted. Likes full sun and prefers moist, deep, well-drained soils. One of the fastest-growing trees available. Grows to 70'–100', with a 25' spread. (zones 5-8) Note: Dawn Redwood grows late in the season and may be damaged by early fall freezes. Plant early enough in the fall to allow the roots to become established and avoid planting in a low-lying area (frost pocket).

Wildlife Value

The Dawn Redwood provides winter cover for birds, small mammals and deer.

History/Lore/Use

The Dawn Redwood is a living testimony to the surprises still to be found in nature. When dinosaurs roamed the earth, it is believed that trees in the Redwood family were very abundant. Today, only 9 genera and 15 species exist. Dawn Redwood was one of those known only as a fossil until 1941 when it was discovered growing in a remote valley of the Szechwan province of China. Seeds were collected by the Arnold Arboretum in 1947, and the species has been distributed worldwide.

Moisture

This Redwood can withstand some flooding and prefers moist soil conditions, but has some drought tolerance.

Leaves

Fine and feathery in appearance, opposite in arrangement, flattened and about 1/2" long and 1/16" wide. Bright green above with a narrowly grooved mid vein. Easily confused with a Bald Cypress, but look on the latter for the leaves to be spirally arranged on the branchlets. Orange-brown to reddish-brown fall color.

Flower Color

Not showy, male flowers up to 12 inches long.

Bloom Time

April to May

Fruit Description

Light brown, box-like, four-sided, 1/2"–1" cones. Round to cylindrical shape on long stalks that mature in the fall.