Dawn Redwood

Metasequoia glyptostroboides

Family: Cupressaceae (koo-press-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Metasequoia (met-uh-see-KWOY-uh) (Info)
Species: glyptostroboides (glip-toh-stroh-BOY-deez) (Info)



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round


over 40 ft. (12 m)


30-40 ft. (9-12 m)


USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun



Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:




Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From semi-hardwood cuttings

From hardwood cuttings

From hardwood heel cuttings

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Seed Collecting:

Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Wear gloves to protect hands when handling seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Wasilla, Alaska

Phoenix, Arizona

Prescott, Arizona

Siloam Springs, Arkansas

Acton, California

Clovis, California

Ferndale, California

Goleta, California

Hercules, California

Los Angeles, California

San Diego, California

San Francisco, California

Santa Ynez, California

Walnut Creek, California

Chaplin, Connecticut

Old Lyme, Connecticut

Wilmington, Delaware

Plant City, Florida

Cedartown, Georgia

Clarkesville, Georgia

Marietta, Georgia

Rock Island, Illinois

Evansville, Indiana

Indianapolis, Indiana

Lafayette, Indiana

Denison, Iowa

Lawrence, Kansas

Shawnee Mission, Kansas

Barbourville, Kentucky

Elizabethtown, Kentucky

Louisville, Kentucky

Shepherdsville, Kentucky

Mount Rainier, Maryland

Owings, Maryland

Parkville, Maryland

Saint Leonard, Maryland

Roslindale, Massachusetts

Galesburg, Michigan

Laingsburg, Michigan

Southfield, Michigan

Kansas City, Missouri

O Fallon, Missouri

Saint Louis, Missouri

Springfield, Missouri

Webb City, Missouri

Ringoes, New Jersey

Sayreville, New Jersey

Scotch Plains, New Jersey

Brewster, New York

Croton On Hudson, New York

Webster, New York

Apex, North Carolina

Calabash, North Carolina

Cary, North Carolina

Columbus, North Carolina

Danbury, North Carolina

Durham, North Carolina

Garner, North Carolina

Monroe, North Carolina

Raleigh, North Carolina

Bucyrus, Ohio

Cincinnati, Ohio

Cleveland, Ohio

Goshen, Ohio

North Ridgeville, Ohio

Hulbert, Oklahoma

Okarche, Oklahoma

Cheshire, Oregon

Grants Pass, Oregon

Downingtown, Pennsylvania

Hermitage, Pennsylvania

Kunkletown, Pennsylvania

Lawrenceville, Pennsylvania

Lititz, Pennsylvania

Pottstown, Pennsylvania

Souderton, Pennsylvania

Conway, South Carolina

Hendersonville, Tennessee

Arlington, Texas

Fort Worth, Texas

Lindon, Utah

Ogden, Utah

Amelia Court House, Virginia

Front Royal, Virginia

Harrisonburg, Virginia

Lexington, Virginia

Ames Lake, Washington

Lea Hill, Washington

Richland, Washington

Augusta, West Virginia

Larsen, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jun 16, 2017, purplesuit from Front Royal, VA wrote:

Planted one 10 years ago at the bottom of the drive, next to a rain garden, to catch the runoff. It has grown to a foot in diameter at the base and pretty tall (30 feet?) I supplement the soil with acid-loving plant fertilizer.

But the sun is important, it will grow with less than full sun however it will be lopsided because it will grow less on the shady side than the sunny side. So pick a spot with the most even sun and the most moisture possible.


On May 29, 2017, TulipPolar84 from Plant City, FL wrote:

I received my Dawn Redwood as a small bare root plant about 3 years ago.

Although like other Florida gardeners, it has been late to leaf out (generally in May), it has so far not experienced die-back or summer leaf scorch since tat time.

It has grown about 6' over the past 3 years here in Plant City and is a beautiful specimen.


On Mar 26, 2015, Osmantha from Marietta, GA wrote:

We started with a 15" tree in 1998. Today, the tree towers over our house at about 40'. It is very beautiful when it leafs out in lime green. It almost looks like giant fern with it's soft needles hanging. We have it planted at the top of a hill in full sun, in dry red clay. No amendments, no water. It is a fabulous specimen, but due to the roots going under the sidewalk, it will have to be removed. Best not to plant these near anything. Ours is 10' from the sidewalk. The only critters we've had on the tree is the beautiful luna moth - also lime green. It blends right in. I like the way the branchlets leave a soft padding on the ground every winter. However, they also tend to clog gutters, since the needles are so small.


On Jun 23, 2014, oakisland from Amelia Court House, VA wrote:

I want to brag and say i have the tallest dawn redwood in Virginia. I have 8 that mark this area. They reseed everywhere. Someday, there will be a forest of dawn redwoods here in Amelia, VA. Great fall color, but goes fast. My favorite tree ever.


On May 15, 2014, Sequoiadendron4 from Lititz, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

This is one of my favorite trees in our yard. I planted it spring of 2010 and it was about 6" tall. I got it from Arborday. Last fall I estimated its height as 21 feet!! It's top point was about even with the apex of our roof. It's first year had 48" growth, second was about the same, third year had 7' of growth. This tree is an amazing grower. I'm excited every year to see how much it will grow. It definitely needs to be on its own though. I've seen others in the area where it is planted near other trees and doesn't do so well. Its not a very good competitor. I've had no problems with it so far. Its pretty deep rooted as I have a garden underneath it and dig in the soil frequently to plant things and I don't usually hit roots bitter than 1/8" or so. In the fall it turns a nic... read more


On Mar 13, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

This deciduous coniferous tree grows VERY fast and gets VERY big VERY quickly. It's capable of growing 3' per year, year after year.

It naturally forms a symmetrical upright pyramid, with lovely, soft, feathery foliage, and it retains its lowest branches into maturity. It does not develop the umbrella-shaped crown of a good shade tree.

That means that it isn't a good tree for a small residential property.

It's a terrific tree for a large park-like space. It needs full sun and moist acid soil. It tolerates wet areas. No serious pests or diseases. Highly intolerant of shade.

It quickly develops a wide, swiftly tapering, heavily buttressed trunk, which looks very exotic. 70 year old trees at Boston's Arnold Arboretum have trunks 7 f... read more


On Feb 19, 2014, lejardin24 from Hermitage, PA wrote:

We planted 3 bareroot trees about 15 years ago. They are about 40 feet high, magestic, happy and healthy. They like "wet feet", and sunshine. About 7 years ago, we added 30 bareroot trees to a moist, sunny property line. They are beautiful, carefree, and interesting trees. Always a great conversation piece based on their history. Roots will heave any nearby walls or sidewalks, so give them plenty of room! Also have one "Jack Frost" that has done equally as well! Love these trees.


On Apr 20, 2013, NCMstGardener from Columbus, NC wrote:

We grow the 'Ogon' or 'Gold Rush' cultivar. Dawn Redwoods grow about 5-6 feet a year when young if sited with afternoon shade. (Many growers label this tree as 15-20 feet. Don't believe it. Our seven year old tree in zone 7b is now over thirty feet and still reaching for the sky.) This is my favorite tree. I love the shape and the Fall color. The down side is that it is a magnet for jap beetles and you will need to treat accordingly. I find that a soil drench of Merit works.

On Memorial Day 2017 we purchased a new Metasequoia glyptostroboides 'Schirrmann's Nordlicht' from MrMaple,com.
You can see a picture on their web site. Unlike the species this selection from a Witches Broom has bright creamy color and is expend to reach 4 to 6 in 15 years. Yes four to... read more


On Jun 5, 2012, DA_Hanks from Charlotte, NC wrote:

This is a wonderful tree.

My name is D.A. Hnks, and I am the chief conservation officer with the Crescent Ridge Dawn Redwoods Preserve. One of the goals of our project was to address a lot of the questions posed here. If you go to our website at http://www.dawnredwood.org and hit the Contact button, I will be more than glad to address your questions or concerns.

BTW- full sun, lots of water and a soil pH of 4.5 are what this tree needs to thrive.


On Oct 30, 2011, nel5397 from Groveland, FL wrote:

i tried to grow one, but every summer the foliage would get devoured by leaf diseases that thrive in florida heat and humidity. it would take forever for the thing to leaf out in the spring because the chilling hours were not being met.


On Jun 4, 2011, Rick_Ingersoll from Wasilla, AK (Zone 4a) wrote:

I planted 25 Dawn Redwoods in Wasilla Alaska (zone 4) and they are doing GREAT so far. Only 1 week in the ground and already they have 1 inch branches coming out. I got them after I read about Dawn Redwoods fossils in Alaska 40-50 million years ago.

They came from Cold Stream Farms @ http://www.coldstreamfarm.net


On May 29, 2011, jsherlock from Fort Lauderdale, FL wrote:

Our Dawn Redwood which is 9 years old appears to be dying. This late in the spring and only a few limbs have leaves. It dropped it's leaves early last fall and areas of the bark are loose. I would love to save this tree that was supposed to be very hardy and disease resistant.


On May 1, 2011, stuckinthedirt from Harrisonburg, VA wrote:

I planted a 4 foot tree about 2 years ago. My son wanted to grow a redwood, so he considers it his tree. It grew 3 feet the first year and 5 feet the second year. It is very healthy, and is filling in a spot where I had to cut down a 50 yr old Norway spruce. I liked it so much that I collected some seeds from other dawn redwood trees, and now have 19 seedlings growing. I plan on giving them away, and planting them around on public land, so I can watch them grow.


On Mar 23, 2011, suentommy from Souderton, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

I love the look of these trees but have had a problem with one we planted almost 20 years ago. It is in an area where it does not get much shade but does have some river birches growing nearby. The tree has never taken off. It is about 20 feet tall but is not as spectacular as others. I do not think it competes well with other trees and may need to be more on its own. The area it is planted in would generally be moist and that is why we have the dawn redwood and river birches - to keep it from getting too saturated. Overall I wish I could replant it in another location but it is too big for that.


On Jul 19, 2010, spinme from Chicago, IL wrote:

My father planted a dawn redwood "sapling" about 40 years ago at our house in suburban Detroit. Today, this gorgeous tree is over 60 feet tall, dwarfing everthing else in the neighborhood. It is extremely hardy, having survived drought and wet summers, with no extreme measures taken.


On Jun 5, 2010, eofe from Bar Harbor, ME wrote:

I bought 4 "sticks" about 4 feet tall each and planted them in 4 different areas. One full sun and one much sun, each watered only by sprinkler system. The other two at the bottom of a large hill, thick with ferns, some cat tails and quite wet. All are doing well with new green leaf buds appearing every day. By the way, I planted them a week ago! I'm very happy. Beatrix Farrand had the only one in Bar Harbor (it still lives and can be seen at the Thuya Garden in NE Harbor) and now we have 4 of our own.


On Mar 4, 2010, WayneGreen from Cheyenne, OK wrote:

I planted a dawn redwood tree three years ago. It was about 9" tall, now it is 9' 9". This spring I am planting a coast redwood.The dawn redwood seems to be doing fine in western Oklahoma.


On Sep 1, 2009, Gascoigne from Shawnee Mission, KS (Zone 5a) wrote:

I LOVE Metasequoia Glyptostroboides (Dawn Redwood). Ok---so I bought 2 rooted cuttings on eBay and a sickly 7 foot tall specimen from a local nursery this summer. All are planted and thriving.

The saplings/ cuttings--which arrived looking like bare sticks, are heavily leafed and branching out...I jury-rigged a tomato cage and hardware cloth to protect from Rabbits---rabbits will eat the bark off these trees. Now the rooted cuttings are thriving and growing like crazy...they have grown a foot this summer alone.

The larger tree had almost no leaves when I bought it 2 1/2 months ago since it had been stored in the shade. I planted it, fertilized it with evergreen spikes, and watered it frequently... Now it is about a foot taller and heavily leafed with bright, d... read more


On Feb 23, 2008, vixinsu from Stoke on trent,
United Kingdom wrote:

I moved into my quirky home last May. Outside my bedroom window stands a 30 foot high tree that is the most beautiful visual and aural experience both summer and winter. It is only 20 foot from the house, but I am assured will not damage anything structurally. However, some of the lower limbs have been removed to allow light through to the next door garden and movement across the patio of mine. It still looks amazing and is home to many birds and now it is wonderful watching the birdlife flirting. It is the only plant I know that actually appears to 'sneeze' in the autumn and drop its foliage in about four doses. I love it!


On Feb 9, 2008, snowleopard77 from Apex, NC (Zone 8a) wrote:

I first learned of this tree when visiting the Raleigh Memorial Rose Garden, they have 3 that are over 50 feet tall.

I was there one day and was given a seedling about 4 years ago and now it is 8 feet tall. Since then I have collected the seeds and been some what successful in starting them from seed.

Right now I have 12 seedlings I am growing and I can't wait till this tree gets to 50 feet tall or more.


On Oct 30, 2007, SweetBowl from Arlington, TX wrote:

I planted a bare root twig last year...it has toped 10 feet by the end of its second summer. It is healthy and has a nice delicate foliage.

It is growing in the orange clay of north Texas with supplimental water from lawn sprinklers. Seems to tolerate the heat with no problems and is growing much healthier than my bald cypress.


On Sep 18, 2007, jmcdon7 from London,
Canada wrote:

We have a Dawn Redwood in our backyard at home...it's a beautiful tree that has withstood more drought and floods than we would have cared to throw at it. It also stayed standing while we received 3 feet of snow in one night, when many other "hardy winter trees" did not. It has grown about 10 feet since we moved in (3 years ago), so the growth has astounded us!
We look forward to many more years ahead with our beautiful tree.


On Dec 22, 2006, mremail1964 from Sayreville, NJ wrote:

I planted this tree in celebration of my nephew's birth. It has grown approximately 1 foot since April but I anticipate a more productive growth period this year since it is now fully established.


On Dec 8, 2006, rochha from Owings, MD wrote:

There is a nice specimen in Harwood, MD just north of Southern High School on Route 2 Solomons Island Road, The last house on the right before the High Tension Power lines. It is about 70-80 feet tall, so it must've been planted at least 40-50 years ago, making it one of the 1st ones planted in the USA since it was smuggled out of China.


On Jun 20, 2006, Ishtar64 from Cedartown, GA wrote:

This is a lovely specimen tree, and I highly recommend it to anyone who has a spot open in their landscape. Keep in mind the tree does grow fast, even in adverse conditions. It will shed its leaves in winter and look positively dead, but come spring it will bud out again.
The tree is low maintenance - I never water or fertilize mine, and they do fine. Occasionally Japanese beetles will devour some of the tender growth, but only when nothing else (like roses or grapes!!) is available.
Do not limb this tree! Some people like to remove the lower brances, making the plant look like an upside down ice cream cone on a stick. This is a hideous practise and completely unnecessary. The dawn redwood is a spectacular plant when the branches reach right down to the ground, but looks si... read more


On Mar 7, 2006, conifers from Rock Island, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:

Propagation via cuttings:

Take Hardwood cuttings that have undergone at least one month of complete Dormancy. Use a rooting hormone such as 'Dip and Grow' or 'Hormex #8' or 'Woods 1:10'. Bag the cuttings completely for one month with bottom heat. Remove the bag and keep the humidiy up around the cuttings. Many people are successful simply sticking their cuttings in a pot and placing a white plastic grocery bag over them and tying it off. Continue the constant bottom heat and you should have roots in ~4 months. (Dirr)

Grafting is another means as is from seed.


On Nov 14, 2005, scarlettgreyfel from Galveston, IN wrote:

Just a warning....Tent Worms LOVE this tree! I have been fighting them for three years and had never had them before..


On Jul 29, 2005, bobgoestojapan from Parkville, MD wrote:

We were given a Dawn Redwood that was in a pot in May. It was very small. We put it in our yard and it grew over 2 feet in two months. We did have to put a fence around it because the rabbits were eating the bark off. The tree is a beautiful color of green, and dances when the wind blows.
We do water it a lot and it seems to grow overnight.


On Sep 16, 2004, lego_brickster from Lawrenceville, PA (Zone 5b) wrote:

It surprises me how tolerant of standing water this tree is.
We planted one two years ago with little consideration for it's placement. It turns out that the area was virtually a wetlands, and frequently has an inch or more of standing water in it. It's doing great, where other trees have drowned.

This summer we saw another specimen in the Cornell University arboretum, and it was growing straight up out of a pond.
I'm not sure if this speaks to the tree's tolerance, or if it actually prefers environments like this.


On Aug 10, 2004, Kachinagirl from Modesto, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

The presence of the carpenter bees and the dropping branches makes me think it may only have been a matter of time anyway. Carpenter bees prefer dead wood for their homes, the tree's days were probably numbered, so don't feel too bad . What did you put in it's place for shade?


On Aug 9, 2004, shortcm from Wilmington, DE (Zone 7b) wrote:

It broke my heart to take this tree down. Previous owners had built our deck around it and it is a very dirty tree for a living area. All year 'round it was dropping something. The leaves were always all over the deck, and didn't disappear on their own. The beautiful "acorns" are very hard on bare feet when the dry. It did not do well after our summer of drought, and was always dropping dead branches, and attracting nuisance, if harmless, carpenter bees.

The wood was gorgeous: we left the stump at seat level, and saved several other trunk "seats" for the deck.

There are many around town, and they are just spectacular in open spaces.


On Aug 8, 2004, rebldolls from Monroe, NC wrote:

About 7 years ago my dad ordered 3 Dawn Redwood saplings. He gave the smallest one to me. I planted it in the center of my front yard. It is huge about 50 feet. It has an ideal location...full sun and a leach drain from under the house. Two years ago the leader was broken in a snow and ice storm. A new leader has developed and the tree is almost as tall as it was before the storm. We have just had our yard landscaped and the landscaper at Image of Green has put 3 uplights on the tree. It is simply beautiful all day and now at night. We can hardly wait to see it this winter after it looses its foliage. The lighting has added another aspect of facination and interest to the tree.


On Mar 19, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Tree does well in higher zones than listed- found a healthy, happy tree in Escondido, Southern California, zone 9b, bordering on 10a.


On Nov 14, 2003, BethallynB from Walnut Creek, CA wrote:

Grows rapidly with regular watering. Light textured plant, beautiful fall color. Needles are fine and rapidly vanish in the garden. Will tolerate heavy soils.


On Jun 26, 2003, stevenova from Newcastle,
United Kingdom (Zone 8a) wrote:

There is now a selected clone of this plant with golden foliage called Metasequoia glyptostroboides 'Goldrush'. It makes a very attractive variation to the usual green of this tree and it is also less vigourous.


On Apr 26, 2003, Monocromatico from Rio de Janeiro,
Brazil (Zone 11) wrote:

Metasequoia is a "living fossil". Until they found a population of this genus in China in this century, science only knew about Metasequoias because of fossil woods from the Cretaceous period. Having a living fossil in your yard IS. VERY. COOL.