Tree of the Week: Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides)

January 22, 2014

Originally written by Carl Blair-Broeker

Edited by Brianna Egge

Dawn redwood Dawn redwood

         Photo Credit: Jean-Pol GRANDMONT                             Photo Credit: Alpsdake

Metasequoia glyptostroboides, commonly known as dawn redwood, is a deciduous coniferous tree that grows in a conical shape up to 100 feet tall. It is closely related to and resembles bald cypress (Taxodium) and redwood (Sequoia) trees. Dawn redwood survives in USDA Hardiness Zones 4-8 and may prove well in handling Minnesota if overwintered properly. They are best grown in moist, humusy soils with good drainage, and in full sun. They have been known to tolerate some wet soils but prefer consistent moisture, and would make a good rain garden tree. Dawn redwood can also tolerate deer browsing and air pollution.

Dawn redwood Dawn redwood

      Photo Credit: Missouri Botanical Garden                Photo Credit: Missouri Botanical Garden

Dawn redwood grows with a very straight single trunk with numerous branches. As dawn redwood matures, the trunk broadens at the base and develops reddish-brown fibrous bark which exfoliates in strips. The bark becomes deeply fissured as the tree matures. The foliage of dawn redwood is fern-like and soft to the touch. Although the foliage looks like needles, its foliage is actually referred to as leaves, and resemble a pinnately compound leaf. The leaves are oppositely arranged, flat, and appear two-ranked in a flat display. The leaves appear light green in the fall and turn to a dark green before turning red-bronze in the fall before dropping.

Dawn redwoodDawn redwood

Photo Credit: Virginia Tech                Photo Credit: Virginia Tech

Dawn redwood has monoecious flowers. The male flowers are a light brown that appear in hanging clusters up to 12 inches long, and the female flowers are yellow-green that appear solitary. The tree produces fruit in the form of a cone. The cones are light brown, oval, and 1/2 -1 inch in length that hang off of long stalks. The cones mature in late fall and each contains small winged seeds.

Dawn redwood

Photo Credit: Missouri Botanical Garden

Fossil records dated back over 50,000,000 years show that dawn redwood has existed for quite a long time. By planting this unique species in Minnesota, diversity of urban forests can be improved. If planning on planting this tree, make sure to give it adequate growing space for the future and it will make an excellent landscape tree.


All photos and references are used for educational purposes only.

 

References

  1. "Metasequoia glyptostroboides." Missouri Botanical Garden: Plant Finder. Missouri Botanical Garden, n.d. Web. 22 December 2017. <http://bit.ly/2ByPOtU>
  2. "Dawn redwood: Cupressaceae Metasequoia glyptostroboides.Virginia Tech Dendrology. Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation, n.d. Web. 22 December 2017. <http://bit.ly/2BTb7DC>
  3. "Dawn redwood." The Morton Arboretum: Trees & Plants. The Morton Arboretum, n.d. Web. 22 December 2017. <http://bit.ly/2pdepin>

Photos

  1. Jean-Pol GRANDMONT. "Metasequoia glyptostroboides." Wikimedia Commons. Wikimedia Commons, 2007. Digital Image. 22 December 2017. <http://bit.ly/2DypRYQ>
  2. Alpsdake. "Metasequoia glyptostroboides Autumn leaf color in Kasugai, Aichi, Japan." Wikimedia Commons. Wikimedia Commons, 13 November 2011. Digital Image. 22 December 2017. <http://bit.ly/2kZsqe8>
  3. "Metasequoia glyptostroboides bark." Missouri Botanical Garden: Plant Finder. Missouri Botanical Garden, n.d. Digital Image. 22 December 2017. <http://bit.ly/2BlfgyR>
  4. "Metasequoia glyptostroboides foliage." Missouri Botanical Garden: Plant Finder. Missouri Botanical Garden, n.d. Digital Image. 22 December 2017. <http://bit.ly/2BPqoVL>
  5. "Dawn redwood flower cluster." Virginia Tech Dendrology. Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation, n.d. Digital Image. 22 December 2017. <http://bit.ly/2BmJ8uN>
  6. "Dawn redwood cone." Virginia Tech Dendrology. Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation, n.d. Digital Image. 22 December 2017. <http://bit.ly/2BC9zRu>
  7. "Dawn redwood form." Missouri Botanical Garden: Plant Finder. Missouri Botanical Garden, n.d. Digital Image. 22 December 2017. <http://bit.ly/2D0nXPt>

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