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Metasequoia glyptostroboides

Dawn redwood is a deciduous conifer originating from the montane regions of China. It was considered to be extinct until 1941 and is the only living species in the genus Metasequoia.


We have two dawn redwoods on the property; both located off the Magnolia Trail, though one is much closer to the trail. See if you can spot it as you walk past the foundations to Hadwen’s home.

Dawn redwood leaf

Dawn redwood tree

History at Hadwen

As far as we can tell, the dawn redwood was first formally recorded in the arboretum in 2020. The age of the trees currently on the property would suggest they have thrived in the arboretum for some time, but information regarding when they were first planted is limited.

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Detailed Species Information

The dawn redwood is a deciduous conifer in the family Cupressaceae and is the only living species in the genus Metasequoia. Though documented in fossil records, the dawn redwood was considered to be extinct until 1941 when it was rediscovered. It is native to China where the remaining specimens survive in moist river valleys of montane regions and lower slopes. The tree is fast-growing and can reach up to 100 feet (30 meters) in height and 3 feet (1 meter) in diameter. The bark is stringy and red-brown, and the feathery, green, needle-like leaves turn reddish-brown in the fall before falling off. The tree grows well in full sun to partial shade and prefers moist soils.

The dawn redwood is rarely used for lumber due to its softness and low durability, but it is commonly planted in parks, urban forestry, and gardens as an ornamental tree or shade tree due to its attractive and unique appearance, tolerance of a wide range of soils and environmental conditions, and fast growth rate.

Contact Information

Hadwen Arboretum