Metasequoia - Dawn Redwood Trees
The Metasequoia is a genus that has a very interesting story, starting with the fact that it only has one surviving species within the genus, which is the Metasequoia glyptostroboides. The Dawn Redwood was in fact thought to be extinct up until 1946 when a living species was found in a village in China. Since its rediscovery, it has become a very popular ornamental tree. This genus has a trait that only a handful of other's hold because it is a deciduous conifer. It is thought that this conifer was once evergreen, but eventually adapted to become deciduous because of the climate that it was in: it is hypothesised that this change was due to the light conditions in the Northern hemisphere at the time, where there was solid darkness for several months and then solid daylight for several months.
The Dawn Redwood is a large and majestic tree which is widely planted as a parkland tree or a feature tree for a large garden. The leaves are feathery, a lot like ferns, and they cover the lofty branches. The leaves turn to a coppery red colour before falling in late autumn. Even though this tree loses its leaves in winter, its very neat pyramidal structure still provides great interest in winter.