Dawn Redwood

Family: Cupressaceae

Genus: Metasequoia

Botanical Name: Metasequoia glyptostroboides

Metasequoia glyptostroboides, also known as dawn redwood, is a deciduous conifer specimen with an amazing reddish-coloured bark and bright-green needles. It was believed to be extinct until a living specimen was discovered in China and then exported worldwide to repopulate the globe with this magnificent tree.

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Style

This tree has strong growing habits. In fact, it can grow very tall in nature, making this tree ideal for upright styles. However, it can be trained in other styles, such as forest and slanting, to name a few.

Location and Position

The Dawn Redwood enjoys full sun and appreciates some semi-shade on very hot days. Once in a pot, the tree will be grateful to receive a little frost protection during the winter.

Watering

Intolerant of droughts, the Metasequoia glyptostroboides requires moist soil. To avoid root rot, don’t allow the soil to be soaking wet

Feeding

Feed with a liquid fertiliser every two weeks from spring until late summer.

Pruning and Pinching

Structural pruning is best carried out during the fall because the branch structures will be more visible once the tree loses its foliage. Pinching back new shoots should be attempt during the growing season to maintain the bonsai’s shape.

Repotting and Soil

Repot the dawn redwood every other year or as soon as the roots fill the pot—ideally before the buds swell—in a well-drained soil mix. One part akadama and one part pumice (with bark mulch if extra retention is needed) should do the job.

Wiring

Fall seems to be the best time to wire the Metasequoia glyptostroboides because the tree will be free of foliage, allowing for better visibility for branch placement. Growth slows in the fall as well, so the risk of scars is lower.

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