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How to grow the Dawn (or Chinese) Redwood
(Metasequoia glyptostroboides)

By Scott Peden

Buy Coast Redwood Coast Redwood: A Natural and Cultural History by Michael G. Barbour (Editor), et al. Refers to dawn redwoods as well as coast redwoods. Buy 'Discovered Alive: The Story of the Chinese Redwood' Book Review of Discovered Alive: The Story of the Chinese Redwood by William Gittlen (Pierside Publications).

How to Grow.

Here is one approach to growing your own Dawn Redwood:

  1. Once you find an existing Dawn Redwood, with permission of the property owner, take some seed cones and a bunch of the debris that the Dawn Redwood drops. Measure how deep (maybe 2-3 inches) is the duff under the tree, and use that as your duff depth shortly.

  2. Use a big black plastic tub (the kind that concrete or mortar gets mixed in). Make holes in the bottom for drainage, then put clay (river clay or clay used in construction would be fine) in the tub. Then put your proper amount of Dawn Redwood duff on top, using the depth measured above.

    [Alternatively, as coast redwoods sprout particularly well after a fire, which makes nutrients more readily accessible as mineral rich soil, you could take a good measurement of the duff that is there, and burn it, and then put the ashes on top of the clay. ]

  3. Set six or so Dawn Redwood seeds on the duff (whether burned or not).

  4. Put your pot outside in an area with strong natural light and that is like where your mother tree is growing.

  5. After the seeds have opened up, use a small branch to stir up the surface (gently!), as birds and other small animals would do, in their search for the edible seeds, thus creating different layers that the seeds are in.

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