Metasequoia glyptostroboides - Dawn Redwood
Family: Cupressaceae

Hear the scientific name

Metasequoia glyptostroboides is a large, deciduous conifer with distinct conical form, fast growth rate, and fairly broad adaptability. Dawn Redwood is less tolerant of adverse conditions than its similar relative, Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum).

F   E   A   T   U   R   E   S
  form2 form Form

-large specimen tree

-maturing at about 70' tall x 25' wide in the constructed landscape; taller in its native habitat

-upright pyramidal form as in many conifer trees (e.g. Picea), but can become more broad-rounded with age

-rather uniform, symmetrical habit that is best expressed in open areas; very similar in habit to Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum)

-medium to fast growth rate (apprx. 1.5' per year); may reach 50' in about 20 years

foliage2 foliage Foliage

-deciduous, opposite arrangement (differs from Bald Cypress which is mostly alternate arrangement)

-flattened needles about 0.5" long x 0.1" wide

-bright green above and paler green below

-foliage emerges in mid- spring and provides a very feathery texture

-autumn color is brown and can be quite attractive before leaf drop

Flowers

-trees are monoecious, male and female flowers (strobili) borne on the same plant; male flowers in panicle-like structures; female flowers solitary

Fruit

-cones are rounded, about 1" thick, pendulous and long-stalked

Twig
twig

-opposite arrangement, brownish-red and lightly ridged

-large winter buds (when compared to Bald Cypress)

trunk Trunk

-large, single trunk develops a broad base and tapers to the apex

-the bark is reddish-brown, exfoliating in thin, vertical strips

-the tree is described as having "armpits" because of an indentation at the base of each branch; this character distinguishes the species from Bald Cypress

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Culture

-full sun to partial sun

-performs best in deep soils with good drainage but also with uniform moisture; tolerates wet soils as well and can be grown next to streams or ponds

-not particularly adaptable to alkaline soils, but can tolerate somewhat heavy soils

-propagated by seeds and rooted cuttings

-no major problems with diseases or pests, but occasional problems with canker may occur

-moderate to low availability in B&B form

Hardiness

-zones 5 to 8

Origin

-native to the Western China

U   S   A   G   E
 

Assets

-attractive, symmetrical form and fine texture

-does not need pruning for symmetrical form

-easy maintenance

Liabilities

-cold hardiness may be marginal in parts of zone 5; late season growth may be damaged by early frosts

-Japanese beetle may cause cosmetic damage

-intolerant of high pH soils

Function

-specimen, focal point, screen, groupings

Texture

-medium-fine in foliage and fine when bare

-thick density in foliage and when bare

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Varieties and Cultivars - Search OSU PlantFacts for additional plants in this species

Alternates

-stately pyramidal trees of deciduous foliage (Alnus glutinosa, Liquidambar styraciflua, Oxydendrum arboreum, Taxodium distichum, etc.) or evergreen foliage (Abies concolor, Picea abies, Picea pungens, Pinus strobus 'Fastigiata', Tsuga canadensis, etc.)

-trees with fine texture, at least when in foliage (Gleditsia triacanthos, Quercus phellos, Salix babylonica, Taxodium distichum, etc.)

-other deciduous conifers (Larix, Pseudolarix, and Taxodium)

 


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