Redwood Database

An index of all Redwood cultivars both in and out of commercial production.

Metasequoia glyptostroboides ‘Golden Oji’

Dawn Redwood

Metasequoia glyptostroboides GOLD RUSH
Metasequoia glyptostroboides GOLDEN MANTLE
Metasequoia glyptostroboides ‘Ogon’

Metasequoia glyptostroboides ‘Golden Oji’, more commonly known by its trade designation GOLD RUSH, is a widely popular cultivar of Dawn Redwood. Despite the prevalence of the name GOLD RUSH, which is often written as a normal cultivar name, the convention on Trees and Shrubs Online is to use the recognized cultivar name for entries. In this case, ‘Golden Oji’ takes precedence over both GOLD RUSH and the original cultivar name ‘Ogon’, as it was granted a US Plant Patent.

‘Golden Oji’ was raised from irradiated seed sown at the Kameyama Breeding Station of the Institute for Forest Tree Improvement in Mie, Japan, in 1974. It was introduced to North America by the Stanley & Sons Nursery of Oregon under its original Japanese name ‘Ogon’, but was quickly marketed in the US as ‘Gold Rush’, leading to later variations of the name. In 1993, Dutch nurseryman Pieter Zwijnenburg introduced it to Europe. Then, in 1995, the Japanese company responsible for breeding this cultivar applied for a US Plant Patent under the new name ‘Golden Oji’, which, according to the International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants, became the accepted cultivar name (Auders & Spicer 2012).

GOLD RUSH has since become one of the most sought-after Dawn Redwood cultivars in both Europe and North America, prized for its intense yellow foliage on an otherwise typical tree form. When planted in the right location, GOLD RUSH can be an exceptionally beautiful tree, its bright foliage illuminating even the dullest corners on overcast days. However, like most forms of the species, it is not particularly shade-tolerant and may develop sparse branching if grown in too shady a spot, which can diminish the desired effect of a lush, full tree. Open glades with ample side light or the edges of water bodies, which offer the added benefit of a shimmering reflection, are ideal locations for this cultivar. It is important to note that GOLD RUSH does not pair well with other yellow-leaved trees, as its superior yellow hue will render others comparatively mediocre.