Metasequoia (Latin: Metasequoia) is a genus of coniferous trees in the Cypress family (Cupressaceae), formerly classified in the obsolete Taxodiaceae family. It is not evergreen, sheds needles for the winter. It is widely distributed as a garden and Park culture in the United States, Canada, and a number of European countries.
THE APPEARANCE OF THE PLANT Metasequoia is an ornamental tree that reaches a height of 35 m and a trunk thickness of 2 m.
the crown is densely branched; conical in young plants, shirokolashka in adults; the bark is yellow-brown to dark brown, peeling off in thin flaps in the lower part, wrinkled; branches-opposite, smooth, not pubescent; needles-soft, slightly pointed, 1-3 cm long; on shortened shoots is located in two rows, on elongated-spirally. Spring light green needles change color to dark green by autumn. Before falling, it becomes pale yellow, red, red-brown, giving the tree a particularly decorative appearance.
FLOWERING AND FRUITING The growing season of metasequoia begins late — at the end of may, ends with the dumping of needles in the first half of November. Metasequoia is a monoecious plant. It begins to bloom in may. Male cones are small, rounded, grouped at the base of the terminal shoot in several pieces. Female cones are single, hanging on long petioles, have a round-capped shape. The average length is 2.5 cm. Cones appear on trees at the age of 6-9 years and give germinating seeds.
DISTRIBUTION OF METASEQUOIA IN RUSSIA AND CIS COUNTRIES As a garden and Park culture, metasequoia is widely distributed in Ukraine, Crimea, and the Caucasus.
Single landings are found in the middle lane, in the Moscow region.
Since the tree can withstand a drop in air temperature to -35°C, it has the potential for growing in regions located North to Saint Petersburg.
INTERESTING FACT Currently, there is a single extant relict species of Metasequoia glyptostroboides Hu & W. C. Cheng-Metasequoia glyptostroboides. It grows wild only in Central China, in the provinces of Hubei and Sichuan. The species is on the verge of extinction and is listed in the International Red book.
Other species are only known in the fossil state.
Metasequoia is interesting because it was first discovered in a fossil state (in the form of fossilized remains on the island of Hokkaido) and was considered extinct. Only in 1943, 800 living trees were found, miraculously preserved in the mountains of China.
In 2012, Russian scientists conducted a genetic analysis of ancient metasequoia remains about 50-55 million years old. The result showed that the DNA chains of ancient remains and metasequoia of modern species differ slightly. Over 50 million years of evolution, there were only about 10 changes per thousand nucleotides in the DNA chain. This indicates the extreme stability of the metasequoia genome.
GROWING GIANT SEQUOIA Metasequoia grows quite quickly. The height of the tree by 5 years reaches 3 m, and in 10-15 years is 10-12 m. For growing from seed, only fresh seed material is used.
Sowing seeds Dried seeds can be sown in autumn. To do this, they are buried in the ground for 3-5 cm and mulched with a layer of 1-1. 5 cm.
For spring sowing, stratification is required at a temperature of +3..+5 °C for 1-2 months. After that, at a temperature of +18..+23 °C, the seeds are sprouted to produce seedlings.
For growing metasequoia seedlings, the following are important:
moderate watering; protection from direct sunlight; nutritious and loose soil. A month after the emergence of seedlings, seedlings can be planted.