Baldcypress and Dawn Redwood Comparison Test

The UT-TIP initiated a seed collection of baldcypress from different southern states in 1990. The seeds were planted at the East Tennessee State Nursery and grown for one year. Large differences in height were noted among the different genetic families. The seedlings were lifted in early 1992 and established in seven plantations throughout Tennessee by UT-TIP and TDF Tree Improvement personnel as a cooperative study.

In 1990 the UT-TIP obtained seed from the surviving dawn redwood population in Hubei Province through the Chinese Academy of Forestry. In 1991, the seeds were germinated and transplanted into Ray Leach Cone-Tainers™. The seedlings were grown for one year before field planting. Dawn redwood seedlings were nested into the baldcypress plantations for growth comparison and for possible ornamental sections.

Currently, only five plantations are viable and will be converted into baldcypress seedling seed orchards based on age 5 and 10 measurements. The dawn redwoods will be evaluated for ornamental characteristics and growth. Selections will be made and clonally propagated for use in the ornamental landscape industry. The resulting seed orchards will be managed by TDF Tree Improvement Program and the seed will be sown at the East Tennessee State Nursery.