One of the very few deciduous conifers, the Dawn Redwood is a great tree. Its pyramidal habit and straight trunk in youth become broader and rounded as it ages. Hardy in zones 4-8.
The 1/2″ long and 1/16″ wide needles of this conifer are arranged oppositely along the rather slender branchlets. They emerge as a bright green and fade to brown and even orange brown in the fall. Red-brown bark in youth it becomes fissured, darker and exfoliates as it matures. Small cones 3/”-1″ long and pendulous and mature in the first year.
Growing rapidly this tree can reach heights of 50 feet in a period of 15-20 years. It will reach 80-100 feet at maturity. Needless to say this is a tree you wouldn’t plant in your small residential landscape, but rather it is best suited to large open areas, such as parks, schools, etc. Makes a nice summer screen, as the needles do fall in the winter.
A rather easy to grow tree preferring moist well drained slightly acidic soil. Readily transplanted as a youth and is often grown balled and burllaped in the nursery trade. With no real know disease or pest problem, I would not hesitate to plant this for fear of infestation. There have been a few cases of Japanese beetle eating the foliage but nothing of real consequence.
‘National’ – Narrow – pyramidal growing variety.
‘Sheridan Spire’ – Rather upright.