Tree of the Month: Dawn Redwood

Scientific Name: Metasequoia glyptostroboides

Dawn Redwood existed only in fossil records until some were found living in China in 1945. Fossils in northern parts of the United States show that the dawn redwood tree was around at the same time as the dinosaurs. This tree is now also frequently planted in North America and Europe. In Canada, it is very commonly found in Toronto. There are also Dawn Redwoods growing in Niagara Falls stretching down to New England and ultimately New Jersey, where the species grows to its biggest heights. This fast growing tree was found to have reached 36 metres in 30 years in Virginia. Sadly, this species is endangered.

The Dawn Redwood species is a fast grown species, growing to 35 metres and are 200 cm in diametre. The leaves of this species are long, flattened soft needles, between 2 and 3 centimeters long, in an opposite arrangement. Unlike most other conifers, this species drops its needles during for the winter season. Bark on older trees is a reddish brown with thin strips peeling off, whereas the bark on young trees is lighter. The trunk has massive longitudinal grooves that are definitely something that separates this species from others.

Want to plant one?

Dawn Redwood trees prefer moist, deep soils that are slightly acidic. This species goes best in sunny sites and is able to withstand cold North American winters.

Image Source

Canada’s Local Gardener. “Ontario Story: Dawn redwood”