The Dawn Redwood grows in acidic, loamy, moist, sandy, well drained, wet, clay soils.
The Dawn Redwood tree is a beautiful tree in parks, golf courses and other sites large enough to accommodate its size. On good sites, it's growth is rapid, with one tree in Virginia having reached 120 feet in 30 years! It is relatively care-free and is a tough and beautiful specimen tree in any large landscape, and always a conversation piece thanks to its history.
An ancient tree that knew the dinosaurs, but is well-suited to modern landscape plantings. Likes full sun, is easily transplanted. Deciduous. Prefers moist, deep, well-drained soils. Fast growing. Grows to 70' to 100', 25' spread. (zones 5-8)
The Dawn Redwood provides winter cover for birds, small mammals and deer.
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 1948 when it was discovered growing in a remote valley of the Szechwan province in China. Seeds were shipped to the Arnold Arboretum and the species has been disseminated worldwide.
This Redwood can withstand some flooding and prefers moist soil conditions, but has some drought tolerance.
Fine and feathery in appearance, opposite in arrangement, flattened and about 1/2 inch long and 1/16 inch 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.
Not showy, male flowers up to 12 inches long.
April to May.
The fruit is elongated, round 1/2 inch to 1 inch, and brown. Cones hang down on long stalks.