Getting To Know North Light Dawn Redwood - January 2024

North Light Dawn Redwood

I have been spending some time tool'ing around the Conifer Kingdom website recently as I try to think about adding dwarf conifers to our garden this season.  I have a full post that I should do that details a bunch of what I've found interesting (so far), but there's one tree that (at this point) warranted a 'getting to know' post:  The North Light Dawn Redwood.  Or the 'Schirrmann’s Nordlicht' Dawn Redwood. Metasequoia glyptostroboides.  The Conifer Kingdom listing for the tree is here.   The guys over at Mr. Maple have the tree listed there, too.  And they do a good job with their description (screenshot below).  The image at the top of this post is also from Mr. Maple (source).   Here's how they talk about the Nordlicht Dawn Redwood:

Via Mr. Maple

What's not to like about what they say about the North Light Dawn Redwood.  

It is a dwarf.  
Has spectacular foliage.
Compact habit.
Winter interest.
Award winning.

Yes, please.  But, tell me about dwarf.  They say it will get 4-6' tall in 15 years.  That's certainly dwarf.

In terms of Dawn Redwoods, the one in our backyard is a lovely tree.  A smaller version sure would be welcome.

As for planting location, I'm getting mixed signals. Conifer Kingdom warns that the tree might burn in full sun.  But, this post from Family Tree Nursery says it NEEDS to be in Full Sun.   Those might both be true?

In full sun, yellow hues will dominate, while is a shadier area, the variegation will be creamier. In fall, the foliage turns a rich chestnut brown before being shed.

So, let's call that 'part sun'.  I've been thinking about the front yard as a project to plant in 2024 with a mix of conifers to match the recently-planted IB2DWs conifer garden.  This North Light Dawn Redwood sure would (now) be at the top of the list for inclusion.   Perhaps in the shadow of the Saucer Magnolia on the main lawn to provide a little bit of that sun protection.


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