||Dawn Redwood (Metasequioa glyptostroboides)
A rapid grower, this deciduous conifer has become well established in fine landscapes, and has quickly grown to 100’ or more. Soft, sensuous, bright green needles emerge in spring and deepen to a rich green for the summer months. In autumn, as the feathery branchlets prepare to drop, the needles turn lovely shades of rusty orange, providing yet another season of interest. In winter the muscular, fluted trunk, with peeling bark of warm tan and orange-brown, stands out against the snow and the soaring conical form, defined by slender twigs, is a welcome sight against the winter sky.
A colorful cultivar, ‘Ogon’, bears eye-catching yellow needles which hold their color through out the summer and create a strong, vibrant focal point. Both the species and cultivar require room to flourish – the buttressed trunk and superficial roots are wide spreading. In moist soils ‘knees’ which protrude up from the root system can often be seen emanating out from the circle of the drip line. A couple of neat and trim cultivars (‘National’ and ‘Sheridan Spire’) are more columnar than the species but remain difficult to locate. Hardy in zones 4-8 the Dawn Redwood thrives in organic, evenly moist soil but will tolerate seasonally wet conditions making it a great choice for our changing climate.