Metasequoia glyptostroboides is an ancient yet also relatively new tree. Fossil records date back to the Mesozoic era and it was thought to be extinct until a small group were discovered by the Yangtze river, China in 1944.
A very large tree with a neat, pyramid crown which is a great choice for urban, avenue or specimen planting. It grows most successfully in warmer climes and so is seen more commonly in southern areas of the UK.
One of few deciduous conifers, the foliage is a flat needle, bright green, light and feathery turning fiery orangey-brown before falling. The bark is also attractive, reddish brown and fluted. Another identifying feature is that the buds, unlike other conifers, are on the underside of the twigs rather than above.
Since its discovery, seed has been distributed for growth trials at collections across Europe and North America. Its ability to also be grown from cuttings means that it has also become widespread throughout Britain and is now a popular favourite. It is however, still classified as an endangered species by the IUCN.
Metasequoia glyptostroboides is available from Deepdale Trees as a standard or feathered plant.
Name: Metasequoia glyptostroboides
Common Name: Dawn Redwood
Height: up to 50m
Demands: Very tolerant of air pollution and standing water, not suitable for dry soils.
Foliage: Bright green, light feathery foliage, turnin ochre shades in autumn before shedding it needles
Bark: Orangey brown bark, scaly in young trees becoming elongated and fluted with maturity.
Fruit: Small female, ovoid cones approx. 2-2.5cm. Male pollen cones on spikes in Spring (more common in areas with hot summers)
Metasequoia glyptostroboides 100-120cm girth standards
Bright, feathery foliage, not dissimilar to Taxus baccataa
There are three other fossil species of Metasequoia;
glyptostroboides is the only know living species.