The Arcata Community Redwood Forest

The Arcata Community Redwood Forest
Life in Northern California is impacted by the beauty of the majestic Coastal Redwood and its Ecosystem

Friday, May 6, 2011

Rare Dawn Redwood In Healdsburg, CA

The Coast Redwood and Giant Redwood has a relative named Dawn Redwood. The fast-growing Dawn Redwood is the shortest and a deciduous redwood.  Considered a ornamental tree, it is native to China.

There is a rare redwood in Healdsburg, CA.  It is the Dawn Redwood and it is the only redwood that looses its needles in the winter.

The rare Dawn Redwood in the background center
 The Dawn Redwood is almost a tree of legend, a mythical ancestor of the California redwoods long thought to be extinct.

The species thrived as one of the pioneer conifers from about 80 million years ago. Metasequoia glyptostroboides is the only deciduous conifer in the world that loses its needles every winter -- and only one of three trees known as redwoods. The others are the Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) and the Giant Redwood (Sequoiadendron giganteum) of the Sierra Nevada, more familiar forest friends by far.
It was first discovered as a Mesozoic fossil in 1941, and was therefore presumed extinct – the Mesozoic ended 70 million years ago. But in 1943 a small grove was discovered in Moudao, Hubei, China, and other forest discoveries proved it still vital, though rare enough to be considered endangered. Still, from extinct to endangered sounds like a success story.

Dawn Redwood with needles in summer
Same Dawn Redwood in winter without needles

The tree was planted in the Healdsburg Square in 1953 after being gifted to the city as a potted plant. Dawn Redwoods became something of a fad after World War II, and ambitious horticulturalists planted groves of the ornamental tree worldwide.
There’s even the Crescent Ridge Dawn Redwoods Preserve in North Carolina, founded in 1995 as a place to see this tree in a natural state in numbers up to 5,000 trees. As Redwoods grow very slowly, except for the Dawn Redwood, the park is not scheduled to open until 2035.

Below is a video about the Dawn Redwood tree that was acquired by a nursery.

 For more information about the Dawn Redwood Preserve, visit

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