Metasequoia glyptostroboides met-ah-see-KWOY-ah glip-toe-stro-BOY-dis
Cupressaceae (Cypress or Redwood Family)
HEIGHT: 80 to 100 feet
SPREAD: 25 to 35 feet
FINAL SPACING: 20 to 40 feet
NATURAL HABITAT AND PREFERRED SITE: China is the native habitat but dawn redwood adapts to a wide range of soils from sand to clay, even seems to tolerate alkaline, rocky soils better than bald cypress.
IDENTIFICATION INFORMATION: Narrow, pyramidal, upright growing deciduous conifer. The most distinguished feature is the upward growing branches rather than perpendicular like bald cypress.
FLOWERS AND FRUIT: Flowers are male and female on same tree or monoecious. Male flowers are in clusters on the ends of branches. Flowers are small. Fruit is rounded cones that form in late summer through fall. Flowers are insignificant.
BARK: Relatively smooth and light tan to reddish-brown, shallowly furrowed, peeling off in vertical strips.
FOLIAGE: Medium green, opposite, simple, needle-like leaves similar to bald cypress, turn coppery to rust color in the fall.
CULTURE: Cypress redwood does not become brown and look stressed in the late summer as does bald cypress. Tolerant of wet soil and even standing water.
PROBLEMS: Stem canker can be a problem, but it is simply a result of environmental stress. Under the Basic Organic Program and in relatively healthy and moist soil this tree does extremely well in most of Texas. Expect some chlorosis and foliage burn when planted in shallow soils on top of white rock.
PROPAGATION: By seed after treatment explained in the bald cypress entry.
INSIGHT: An ancient tree but has lasted and is very durable and should be planted more in Texas. It is considered a living fossil similar to the ginkgo tree.The cypress redwoods on page 198 of Howard Garrett's Texas Trees are in a back yard in Highland Park. I took that shot over 10 years ago so you can imagine how big they are now. There are other huge specimens in north Dallas that are doing well. In fact, they are growing in black and white soils and have none of the yellowing, browning and chlorosis they commonly spoil the late summer look of certain bald cypress. Plant away - you will love them.