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Dawn RedwoodMetasequoia glyptostroboides

  • Dawn Redwood - Metasequoia glyptostroboides
  • Dawn Redwood Metasequoia glyptostroboides
  • Dawn Redwood Metasequoia glyptostroboides
  • Dawn Redwood Metasequoia glyptostroboides
  • Dawn Redwood Metasequoia glyptostroboides
  • Dawn Redwood Metasequoia glyptostroboides
  • Dawn Redwood Metasequoia glyptostroboides
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).

Hardiness Zones

The dawn redwood can be expected to grow in Hardiness Zones 5–8. View Map

Tree Type

Mature Size

The dawn redwood grows to a height of 70–100' and a spread of around 25' at maturity.

Growth Speed Fast Growth Rate

This tree grows at a fast rate, with height increases of more than 24" per year.

Sun Preference

Full sun is the ideal condition for this tree, meaning it should get at least six hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight each day.

Soil Preference

The dawn redwood is very versatile—growing in acidic, loamy, moist, sandy, well-drained, wet and clay soils. While it prefers moist conditions, the tree can withstand some flooding and has some drought tolerance.

Attributes

This tree:
  • Doesn't require much maintenance.
  • Thrives in larger spaces.
  • Features fine and feathery leaves, bright green in color, opposite in arrangement, flattened and about 1/2" long and 1/16" wide.
  • Produces rounded cones about ¾–1¾" long.
  • Sheds leaves and slender twigs annually.
  • Tolerates pollution.
  • Grows in a pyramidal shape.

Wildlife Value

This tree provides winter cover for birds, small mammals and deer.

History/Lore

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.