This deciduous conifer is a fast-growing, imposing relative of the redwood. Native to China, it was known only from the fossil record until a few trees were discovered in 1944 and identified in 1948. Today it is grown and loved the world over for its feathery foliage, muscular trunk and magnificent, narrow, pyramidal habit. The bark is shredded and reddish brown, eventually becoming beautifully gnarled and rugged with chocolate brown and orange tones. With age, the trunk becomes broadly grooved and buttressed at its base.
The needle leaves are soft and bright green with two lighter green bands on their undersides. They arise from seasonal, deciduous stems that are oppositely arranged on the permanent, upward-reaching branches. Small, inconspicuous flowers bloom in late spring among the foliage, and female blossoms become small, rounded cones--first powdery blue and then brown. In autumn, the foliage turns a rich orange to bronze, illuminating the landscape before dropping to reveal the tree’s picturesque silhouette.
Give the dawn redwood tree ample growing space in full sun and moist, acidic or neutral soil. It tolerates wet locations and is quite drought-tolerant once established. It is not good in highly alkaline soils, exposed to seaspray or hot, dry, windy climates. Use it as an imposing and noble specimen tree in a large lawn or park or in a clustered grove. If the planting bed is quite wide, rows of dawn redwood will create an allee, but be aware the roots can disrupt sidewalks and the smooth grade of turfgrass. (info source: Learn2Grow.com)
Genus - Metasequoia
Species - Glyptostroboides
Common name - Dawn Redwood
Germination rate - 20%
Pre-Treatment - Required
Hardiness zones - 4 - 8
Height - 70'-110' / 21 - 34 m
Spread - 20'-25' / 6 - 8 m
Plant type - Tree
Vegetation type - Deciduous
Exposure - Full Sun
Growth rate - Fast
Soil PH - Acidic, Neutral
Soil type - Clay, Loam, Wet
Water requirements - Average Water. Wet Site
Landscape uses - Feature Plant, Shade Trees, Street Trees
Bloom season - Late Spring
Leaf / Flower color - Green, autumn - Orange, Bronze / Light Green
1. Take four continuous squares of paper towel and moisten them under a faucet. Wring out the excess moisture and fold the towels in half. Spread the dawn redwood seeds over one half of the paper towels and fold them around the seeds. Store the seeds in their moist paper towel wrapping inside a sealable plastic bag within the refrigerator for at least 90 days to cold stratify the seeds.
2. Fill a 3-inch plastic pot with a mixture of equal parts potting soil and sand. Fill one pot for each dawn redwood seed. Pour 1/2 cup of water into each pot to saturate the soil and sand mixture. Allow the pots to drain.
3. Remove the seeds from cold storage and sow them immediately. Sow one dawn redwood seed into each pot of soil. Press the seed 1 inch below the surface and tamp the soil on top. Water the pot with 1/4 cup of water.
4. Place the pots on a propagation heat mat set to 70 degrees Fahrenheit near a window or other source of bright, indirect light. Check for signs of growth after 60 days. Transplant the dawn redwood seedlings into 1-gallon plastic pots filled with equal parts sand and peat moss once they reach 4 inches in height. Place them outdoors in a shaded location, and plant them in a permanent bed in autumn. (info source: eHow.com)
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