When a tree species has endured since the time of dinosaurs, you can be assured of its ability to handle a host of challenging circumstances while continuing to thrive. Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides) was once thought lost to history, but its rediscovery in the 1940s led to a massive propagating effort that saved it from extinction. This is a majestic tree that needs plenty of room to grow '– it can reach a height of 100 feet!
Aesthetic Merits and Problem-Solving Qualities
• Intriguing foliage. The leaves on Dawn Redwood are unchanged from fossil records. They resemble large fern fronds, which are soft to the touch. It's a deciduous conifer '– not an evergreen '– so the green leaves will fall from trees after turning a brilliant golden shade in autumn.
• Exfoliating bark. The bark on this tree is as intriguing as the foliage. As trees mature, the textured outer bark has a flaking habit that exposes the reddish-brown bark underneath.
• Tolerates wet soil and drought. What a seemingly opposing combination '– a tree that can tolerate wet soil but can also withstand drought! If you have a low-lying area that holds water after heavy rains and drains slowly, you know that most plants cannot grow there. Dawn Redwood is an exception; it prospers in wet soil!
Other Enduring and Endearing Qualities
In Dawn Redwood's perennial range across USDA Zones 4 through 8, the tree grows into an almost-perfect pyramidal shape '– no pruning required! It has no significant pest or disease problems, so you won't have to use chemical sprays on it. It also tolerates a range of soil types, even heavy clay, although it does grow best in acidic soils. You can achieve one of its prettiest landscape-design looks by planting it along a lake or pond. During the growing season, its ferny foliage contrasts beautifully against the expanse of water, and during the cold seasons (after it sheds its leaves) its bare silhouette forms a striking contrast against the winter sky!
When a tree species has endured since the time of dinosaurs, you can be assured of its ability to handle a host of challenging circumstances while continuing to thrive.
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