What is a good rule of thumb for spacing of young Metasequoia (Dawn Redwood)? Plants are currently in containers and about one foot tall. Thanks in advance.
How will it be used? A specimen? A grouping? A privacy screen?
Well you can grow them close to each other to promote more vertical growth then cut down some of them for firewoods....
I was thinking in terms of an informal grouping. Privacy isn't necessary because of woods and wetlands beyond the grassy, weed/bug-infested area I am reserving for the Dawn Redwoods. I was going to go with Taxodium (Bald Cypress) originally, but experienced some problems in getting my bare-rooted trees to survive. For whatever reason, I had a MUCH higher success rate with Metasequoia as bare-rooted starter plants. That, in combination with their phenomenal rate of growth has left me with a bunch of junior Reds (12"-18" in height)and no Bald Cypress starters (even though I began with an equal number of each). I have one older specimen of Taxodium that has been growing nicely, but I must confess, I find Metasequoia to be a more attractive tree. When I learned that the Metasequoia was quite tolerant of low-lying, moist soils, and that the biggest specimens in North America were in NJ, I thought it would be nice to create a grove for them in an area which otherwise would just be more grass to mow. Oh, one more question. Deer are an issue. Should I plant these guys now or wait until they are bigger. I do have a six foot Dawn Red that's been the ground for a few years and the deer ignore it (but might be different with a small tree closer to the edge of the woods?). Thanks.
8-10' for a grouping for that natural woodsy look.
Go for it. Dawn redwood is a nice tree. I will attempt to grow them from seeds and grow them in the container to plant out for my large property in one area for a grove of DR in the fall of 2010. I am planning on planting a grove of Taxodium Mucronatum (Montezuma cypress which is semi-evergreen version of bald cypress with much faster growth) this fall. I have 10 seedlings that I grew from seeds this year. My brother said that DR is pretty easy to grow from seeds so I will try that as well. My only concern is how drought tolerant they are??? Montezuma cypress has pretty good drought tolerance compared to bald cypress (except for central Texas BC which is probably about the same). My property is flat with heavy clay soil so when it rains a lot, its basically a swamp but it sometimes never rains for extended period of time. I guess that's Texas for you...
lou,I hope the Metasequoia work out for you, they are gorgeous trees--almost fernlike in foliage. It has been raining here for over a month now, limited sun, and VERY unusual. I would say that while mature dawn reds could withstand some degree of drought, young trees are a different matter and need to be well-watered. I've heard of Montezuma cyperus, if I had the space, I'd plant one (I bet it would survive the winters, not sure it wouldn't drown though.) Happy 4th!!
Lou, I started a number of metasequoias from seed this year. Once someone here put me onto a source for high quality seeds I found getting the little buggers started to be easy enough. Schumacher did well for me. I just called, the fella on the phone could tell I was a newby and sold me some starter packets.
Here is a link that might be useful: Schumacher Seeds
Haven't visited them this year but at the Missouri Botanical Garden they have about half a dozen 50 year old trees spaced maybe 20 or 30 feet from eachother. Its a neat effect and the trees don't look crowded at all.
Trying to find a decent pic, I know I took some
Here is a link that might be useful: MOBOT Dawn Redwoods
I planted 12 4-foot dawn redwoods in Jan 08. The nurseryman recommended spacing of 30 ft on center. After looking at dawn redwoods planted at William & Mary in the 1950's, I realized that he was right - they need enough space to fill out. Check out the root system in the MOBOT photo.
My trees averaged 6+ feet of new growth last year.
Buck rubbing was a problem in October. After I strung mono-filament fishing line between the trees at deer knee and chest level, buck rubbing stopped.
Dawn redwoods are interesting, lovely trees, very rewarding to grow.
Partially because this got me thinking about going, here are some new pics.
toronado -I assume these photos are from the MOBOT? I want to visit that garden! The Metasequoias are incredible - with those gnarled roots and twisted trunks, they look pre-historic. And I guess they are!
The Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond spaced them closer - 10-12 feet apart - in groves near the entrance. The trees at William and Mary are older and look similar to those in your photos - that's when I decided to give them more room. I think you could go either way, depending on what you want to accomplish.
Yup, sure is MOBOT. Its a great place, if you don't feel all hiked out when you're done there is even a city park, Tower Grove Park, across the street to the south. None of the trees are labeled but they have pavilions, trees galore, and even some old stone work that looks like ruins.
As I get around more I realize St. Louis does animal and tree zoos particularly well
Tower Grove Dawn Redwoods
That's the seed place I was talking about. My brother (ltruett) tried them and told me they were pretty easy to grow from tiny seeds. The trial packet is plenty! I had ordered shantung maple seeds from there and they were excellent. I just don't want to end up with too many DRs because my area is pretty poor for it and don't want to give them away to neighbors and others only to get complaints from them. My property further out to the east that receives more rainfall and has a bit better topsoil although a little too flat to drain away excessive rainfall may work better. My brother has plenty for me to try out.