Metasequoia glyptostroboides - Dawn Redwood

Family - Taxodiaceae

Size - Deciduous conifer, 80 to 100 feet in height with a 25 to 30 foot base spread. Pyramidal in habit. Fast rate of growth, about 3 feet per year can be expected on established trees.

Foliage - Similiar in appearance to Bald Cypress. Bald Cypress foliage is spirally arranged on the stem whereas Dawn Redwood are opposite in arrangement and slightly shorter in length. Fall color is a reddish-brown.

Flower/Fruit/Seed - Cone

Bark - Reddish-brown, especially when young. Darker, grayish and fissured when older and exfoliating in long papery narrow strips. Becomes heavily buttressed as the tree matures.

Pests and Diseases - Have noticed some dieback on limbs of trees, possibly due to a canker. There will be sections in which entire limbs or the top will die. The tree recovers only to repeat it again the following year. Other trees are never bothered.

Landscape Use - This tree will get big, period. It is only recommended for large open areas. There is one Dawn Redwood in town which is more than 80 feet tall and it literally swallows the small back yard of a one story home. Could make a great obstacle blocking the 18th green. Potential street tree use where it's growth may be tempered. Is supposedly used for such in Maplewood, New Jersey. Performs best in well drained, slightly acid soils.

Performance - 8 Has been around for 50 million years so it has some durability and knows how to survive. Was originally thought to be extinct and was found growing in Eastern Szechuan and Western Hupeh, China in 1941. The Arnold Arboretum sponsored a expedition to the area in 1944, collected seed, and these were shared with other arboreta and botanical gardens throughout the world.


Dawn Redwood

Dawn Redwood in the fall

Dawn Redwood bark