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Common Name:

Dawn Redwood

Scientific Name:

Metasequoia glyptostroboides

Family Name:

Taxodiaceae (sometimes Cupressaceae)


Dawn Redwood was known only from the fossil record until the 1940s when a botanist discovered extant specimens in a remote valley in China. Since then this deciduous conifer, a close relative of Taxodium distichum, has become a popular landscape tree in mesic temperate zone landscapes throughout the world. It has a broadly pyramidal outline, retains lower limbs and develops a fluted trunk around them with shaggy bark, and has slightly larger needles than Baldcypress which then turn a russet color in fall. This tree is a rapid grower, but it is drought intolerant.

Plant Habit or Use:

Tree, medium tree, large tree


sun, partial sun

Flower Color:

None, cone bearing tree.

Blooming Period:


Fruit Characteristics:

Small ovoid to rounded woody cones that tend to disintegrate at maturity.


60 ft to 80 ft (100 ft)


20 ft to 30 ft (35 ft)

Earth–Kind® Index:

  • Heat Tolerance: High Heat Tolerance
  • Water Requirements: Medium Water Use
  • Soil Requirements: Low Soil Requirements
  • Pest Tolerance: High Pest Resistance
  • Fertility Requirements: Low Fertility Requirements
Explanation of the Earth–Kind® Index breakdown

Firewise Index

Explanation of the Firewise Index numerical value

USDA Hardiness Zones:

5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Regions that intersect these hardiness zones:
Region A - Panhandle and High Plains Region B - North and Central Texas Region C - Northeast and East Texas Region D - West Texas Region E - Upper Rio Grande Region F - Hill Country and Central Coast Region G - Southeast Texas Region H - Rio Grande Valley
Click image for enlarged map of USDA Hardiness Zones

Additional Comments:

Trees need shielding from the afternoon sun and drying winds in zone 9. Not well adapted to droughty, hot climates with low relative humidity.
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A Special Note about Cool Season Annuals

Cool season annuals typically are planted in the fall or early winter and flower in early spring under moderate temperatures. This group of plant materials includes: pansies, snapdragons, violas, dianthus, flowering cabbage/kale, etc. Because cool season annuals flower in the spring when conditions are mild, most have limited heat tolerance.

As a result cool season annuals do not receive a high Earth–Kind® index despite their outstanding landscape qualities.