Dawn Redwoods – new varieties

June 5, 2009

Many people are excited to see dawn redwoods. However, there are a number of interesting culitvars that are slowly becoming available. The newer varieties are all grafted onto seedling Metasequoia ( dawn redwood). This year, we are offering several ‘Matthaei Broom’  – reportedly a witch’s broom found in the arboretum in Ann Arbor MI. I really like this form as it has thicker, husky needles with a little color. It seems to grow better here in the Piedmont of NC with some filtered shade.

‘Miss Grace’ is a refined dwarf weeping that is outstanding. Besides having delicate fern-like needles, it has interesting dark brown bark. It prefers shade as well. I’ve seen ‘Miss Grace’ grown staked upright as well as ‘mop’headed, that is grafted at 3 ft and not allowed to form a leader. It is striking both ways. ‘Silhouette’ is a variagated form with bright white to yellow tips to the needles. When young, Silhouette’ is a little sparse in the number of branches. We will probably put one in our trial arboretum to see how it performs over time. ‘Ogon’ is the bright yellow tried and true form that grows so well in full sun. We have a 20 ft example in our arboretum and I never tire of admiring it.

'Matthaei Broom' Dawn Redwood

'Matthaei Broom' Dawn Redwood

 ‘Golden Dawn’ seems to prefer shade and appears to be less robust. ‘Sheridan Spire’ is a good narrowgreen  upright. With all these varieties, a person could start a collection and have an interesting collection of different colors, habit  and sizes. Dawn redwoods have strong root systems, and they seem to perform well with plenty of water.


2 Responses to “Dawn Redwoods – new varieties”

  1. mrmisty said

    I can’t wait for the new dwarf one to be offered to the public.

    UGA Cooperative Extension specialist Paul Thomas and Houston County student Shireen Dhir have just successfully propagated a dwarf tree that was discovered at a nursery in Georgia.

    The parent tree is 13 years old and only 11 feet tall! Sounds like something we could plant in the landscape without worrying about it outgrowing the space.

    • archtrees1 said

      I would be interested in learning more about this tree. Does it have typical leaves and growth habit but with just shorter internodes? Is it going to be patented? There is one dwarf called ‘Self Prune that is very dwarf. The tips die during midsummer essentially ‘pruning ‘ the tree each year. The trunk develops a fairly heavy caliper when the tree is only 3 ft tall.

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