Dawn Redwood Seeds

Metasequoia glyptostroboides

From: £3.39

The Dawn Redwood, thought of as a ‘living fossil’, is a deciduous conifer, the leaves of which turn tawny pink and old gold in autumn. It is fast growing and makes quite a narrow conical tree with a shaggy bark that falls off in ribbons.

The trunk itself tends to be broad at the bottom. It is widely planted as an ornamental tree but in the wild the population is decreasing.

It is protected in China, but over-collection of seed from the wild has resulted in a lack of regeneration in its native areas. The first fossils of the tree were discovered in 1941, in China, and were aged at 150million years old!

These are the same seeds we use ourselves at our specialist Redwood nursery.

Native: China

Provenance: China

Seeds:  approx 80% viable

Ideal sowing period: Spring

Soil conditions: Best in moist well drained soils.

Planting instructions: give a lot of space

Size and spread (10 years): 4m

Mature height: 19m

Bonsai Suitable?: Yes. There is no such thing as “Bonsai seeds”. It’s just marketing. Seeds are seeds. There are occasionally strains of some seeds taken from small trees that grow slower and smaller, however Redwood trees do not flower and produce seed under bonsai conditions. Redwoods generally only flower and seed in the wild at about 250 years old.

All Dawn Redwood seeds require a simple stratification process to germinate. Don’t worry, it’s easy.

  • Soak the Metasequoia glyptostroboides seeds for 24 hours in warm water. (Not hot water).
  • Possibly add some Superthrive – these are some plant vitamins and amino acids. It’s not required, however we like to give our Metasequoia glyptostroboides seedlings the best start in life.
  • Mix the seeds with some peat free compost or an inert medium like vermiculite.
  • Add the seeds to a polythene bag or small tub that will fit nicely in your fridge. Loosely seal the bag – some air exchange needs to occur.
  • Check them every few days to confirm the seeds are still moist – keeping them moist during this time is vital.
  • The next step is to chill the seeds for 6 weeks in the fridge. Don’t forget to set a reminder for yourself to remove them.
  • Move the Metasequoia glyptostroboides seeds to a warm windowsill or heated propagator. Keep the seeds moist during this time.
  • Once the seeds start to germinate you should prick them out and pot them on as soon as possible.

Germination of Metasequoia glyptostroboides can be erratic. For seeds that don’t germinate in about two months, move them back to the fridge and repeat the stratification process.

An alternative way to sow the seeds is to follow nature, simply so the Metasequoia glyptostroboides seeds in a tray outside in a sheltered location after the last frost and let nature take it’s course.

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