A Remarkable dawn redwood

Tree Information
Common Name: dawn redwood
Scientific name: Metasequoia glyptostroboides
Category: Champion (big) tree
Notes: I first learned of the dawn redwood tree from a coal exhibition near Bluefield, West Virginia. There were imprints of a fern-like branch on the face of a slab of coal. It was the imprint of a fossil tree, the dawn redwood. Around 1950 or so it was found that the dawn redwood could no longer be considered a fossil. A group of botanists had gone to China when the silk curtain came up and there they found a stand of dawn redwoods. Around 1963 I purchased a dawn redwood seedling after reading about it in a gardening magazine. It may be one of the first to be grown in the United States. That seedling then was less than a foot tall. The tree, now 43 years old, is huge so that no picture can be taken of it in its entirety. But on the picture you can see its trunk. I'm standing next to it. Squirrels like the bark and now around my yard they construct their nests with it. That does not seem to hurt the tree, since the bark is sort of "flaky". The cones are quite small, but birds enjoy whatever they can get out of them by way of seeds. Quite a few seeds have sprouted in my yard especially during wet springs. I have given seedlings to Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens to use during their plant sale. Other seedlings have gone to friends in Richmond and in other states. Three seedlings went to Longwood, Pennsylvania. Another interesting fact is that the dawn redwood is considered an evergreen tree but it loses its bright green needles in the fall. Their autumn color is the reason for the name, dawn redwood.
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Nominator: Grete Dollitz
Location of Tree
County/City: Richmond City
Name of tree owner: Grete Dollitz
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dawn redwood Identification


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