Dawn Redwood is an interesting tree that looks like it should be evergreen but loses its leaves every fall and grows new foliage every spring.
It looks very similar to the native Bald Cypress in the size and shape of the tree and the way the foliage is soft to the touch and turns a lovey red-bronze in the fall.
The major difference is that the Bald Cypress can thrive in the water while the Dawn Redwood needs to be on dry land.
Another difference is the foliage for the Dawn Redwood are arranged opposite of each other while the Bald Cypress foliage is arranged alternately from each other.
These beautiful trees were thought to be extinct with the dinosaurs, but a small grove was discovered in China and the seeds that were collected have been shared with arboretums around the world, including the United States.
Dawn Redwoods can grow up to 75-100 feet tall and spread 15-25 feet wide and thrive in full sun.
They can grow in moist, well-drained soils but will survive in clay and even in some wet soils.
The foliage emerges in the spring as soft light green in color and soft and airy in shape.
They turn dark green in the summer months and a red-bronze in the fall.
Fall is also when the round half-inch sized cones are found on the trees.
The bark looks a lot like the Redwood trees of California, shredding reddish-brown in color and texture and deeply fissured.
The base of the tree is large with interesting buttresses and tapers to a thinner top.
Because it grows so large, it should be planted in a space that will accommodate the height and width of these beautiful trees.