Dawn Redwood or the Metasequoia is Fast Growing, deciduous, and drops its needles every autumn which is an unusual trait for a conifer. This tree is a relative of the California redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) and giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum), diverging around 150 million years ago. Dawn redwood will not do well in dry soil, but it needs full sun to grow its best when it is a larger tree. We start these as 'understory' trees and they love the high open canopy above them giving the good indirect light. It does best in moist to wet soils, so it can be a good choice for large rain garden locations. As with all trees a good organic planting location would be excellent for these trees.