Dawn Redwood is a magnificent deciduous tree. It has gorgeous soft green needles, and is a fantastic and inspiring tree to see and grow. Dawn Redwood is a magnificent deciduous tree, and is a relative of the California redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) and giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum), diverging around 150 million years ago. Dawn redwood prefers a wetter environment to grow, and 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 ideal for these trees.