Why so many cones on the Dawn Redwood?

(Question)

I’d like to know why there are so many cones on the Dawn Redwood this year and how I tell the female cones from the male cones. I have three Dawn Redwoods in my front yard.

(Answer)

The Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides) is a deciduous conifer that does not like to be crowded.  They needs sun, moisture and soil acidity (pH of 4.5 preferred to thrive.)  They will survive with only two of the requirements but need all three to provide great results.  As they prefer full sunlight and open space, in a thick forest  fewer cones are produced.  Pollination occurs by wind.   Sounds like your specimens have received optimum growing and pollination conditions.

Metasequoia’s have both male cones and female cones.  Its male cones are yellow-brown and hang in clusters, while female cones are yellow-green and hang individually.

For more information, on Dawn Redwoods, check out the following sites:

Conifers of UBC

https://blogs.ubc.ca/conifersubc/?page_id=56

The Crescent Ridge Dawn Redwoods Preserve

https://www.dawnredwood.org/INFORMATION.htm