The dawn redwood tree was long thought to be extinct until it was rediscovered in 1941 by Mr. T. Kan while performing a survey in the Hubei and Sichuan provinces of China. The discovery was confirmed in 1946 after the end of the Second World War. It is the sole species of its genre.
|Scientific Name||Metasequoia glyptostroboides|
|Identification||Size: Up to 165 feet (50 meters)
Trunk Diameter: 3.3 ft (1 m)
Needles (Leaves): 1 in (25 mm), feather-like arrangement, bright green, flattened
Flowers: Males are a light yellowish-brown arranged in clusters, while females are yellow-green and solitary
Cones: Globular to oval in shape, 0.59-0.98 in (15-25 mm) in diameter light brown
|Distribution||Native to the county of Lichuan in the Chinese province of Hubei|
|Habitat||Damp areas in open forests|
|Lifespan||Over 100 years|
|Growing Conditions||Summer: Pollen cones grow only on trees in areas with hot summers
Winter: Does not withstand cold too well
Water: Thrives in stagnant water
Light Requirement: Full sun
Soil: Tolerates a variety of soil conditions, including moist, well-drained, loamy, sandy, clay, and acidic
|Diseases & Pests||Diseases: Susceptible to canker infections caused by various fungal pathogens
Pests: Spider mites and Japanese beetles
|Propagation||Cuttings and stratified seeds|
|Seedling Development||Germinates readily under direct sunlight|
|Wildlife Value||Provides shade to animals during the summer but not so much in the winter as foliage is lost; deer resistant|
|Uses||Ornamental; popular in bonsai|
|IUCN Conservation Status||Endangered|
Dawn redwood vs. Bald Cypress
The dawn redwood is a fast grower compared to the bald cypress’ slow rate of growth. The foliage of the dawn redwood is arranged oppositely, in that he leaves come out on exact opposite sides of the stem. In the bald cypress, they are seen to be in an alternate arrangement, meaning if there is a leaf-shoot on one side of the stem there will not be any on the opposite side, and instead will be a little above or below.
- The dawn redwood tree has been around since at least the time of the dinosaurs, and has been called a ‘living fossil.’
- The name of its genus, ‘Metaequoia,’ means ‘like a sequoia.’
- Arnold Arboretum was the man responsible for distributing dawn redwood seeds to various universities and arboreta around the world.
Published on June 13th 2018 by Sudipto Chakrabarti under Cypress.
Article was last reviewed on 21st March 2023.
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