Appletons Tree Nursery Ltd, 1748 Main Road South, Wakefield, Nelson, Phone 03 541 8309, Fax 03 541 8007
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Metasequoia - Dawn Redwood

A Truly Beautiful Tree

Metasequoia glyptostroboides is considered to be a living fossil as it is the only remaining species of a genus that was widespread in the geological past.

In 1941 it was discovered in Hubei, China. In 1948 the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University sent an expedition to collect seed, which was distributed to universities and botanical gardens worldwide for growth trials. Seedlings were raised in New Zealand and trees can be seen in Christchurch Botanical Gardens, Eastwoodhill and Queens Gardens, Nelson. A number of natural Metasequoia populations exist in the wetlands and valleys of Lichuan County, Hubei, mostly as small groups. The largest contains 5400 trees.

It is an excellent tall growing deciduous tree to complement evergreens in wetlands, stream edge plantings to control slips, and to prevent erosion in damp valley bottoms where other forestry trees fail to grow.

Spring growth is a fresh bright green and in autumn the foliage turns a red coppery brown making a great display.

It is also a most attractive winter branch silhouette. While the foliage is a similiar colour in autumn to that of swamp cypress (Taxodium), it is a much taller erect growing tree, though both species thrive in moist soil conditions.

We import our seed from China and the uniformity of the seedling crop is most impressive. The timber has been used in boat building.