Dawn Redwood

This dawn redwood, scientific name Metasequoia glyptostroboides, is a tall, stately tree that welcomes visitors as they first arrive at Wave Hill’s Glyndor art gallery. Although it is a conifer, the dawn redwood is deciduous, meaning that its soft green needles change to a coppery brown color in autumn and eventually fall to the ground. This tree’s reddish bark and angular branches make it striking in winter time and the architecture of the tree is complimented in the spring by a succession of bright blue spring bulbs and daffodils planted underneath. This tree’s introduction to American landscapes is a peculiar story. Trees in the Metasequoia genus were thought to be extinct by the scientific community and known only from fossils, some of them 15 million years old and older. Amazingly, in the 1940s, a botanical expedition came across a small population of living trees in central China. The fast growing dawn redwood proved adaptable to many growing conditions and has been planted in temperate climates worldwide. This specific tree was planted in 1972 by founding Wave Hill Horticulture Director Marco Stufano, and it quickly grew to this impressive size.