Metasequoia glyptostroboides is an unusual, deciduous conifer tree, but can be kept as a shrub or hedge. The Dawn Redwood is a living fossil, endangered in the wild. Dawn redwoods grow naturally in the remote province of Szechwan, China. This population was only discovered in 1940, before this time, scientists believed the plant was extinct and was only known through fossil records. They can be confused with Bald cypress but its leaves grow in an opposite arrangement, not in a spiral. Dawn redwoods will not grow knees like Bald cypress, a tree that grows best in swampy conditions. Dawn redwood will thrive best in full sun and moist, deep, well drained soil, but it is drought tolerant. This plant can grow 50-80 cm a year, finally reaching 25-30m in height with a 6-8m spread but if pruned, they can be used as a high hegde or even a small tree in the garden. If planted into a pot, they can live on the patio or it can be formed into a bonsai. Dawn redwood trunks are remarkably straight and the tree grows in a tall, slender, pyramidal shape. Even the seedlings are very hardy and care-free. With their cinnamon colored, exfoliating bark and deciduous nature this plant can be a real pearl of any garden. The leaves turn to lovely bronze then brown colour in autumn.
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