|Arnold Arboretum metasequoia|
Seeds were subsequently distributed to universites around the world. Commercial plant nurseries sell the original species and have developed several cultivars with different attributes, such as dwarf, narrow, weeping, yellow/orange instead of green, and so on.
|'Gold Rush' Metasequoia|
Sadly, in China, the dawn redwood is threatened with slow-motion extinction. A survey of wild-growing trees conducted in 2007-09 counted just under 6,000 trees. There are far more than that number existing outside of China - all planted after 1948. While it is now illegal to cut down or dig up dawn redwoods in China, the demand for seeds is so high that almost all seed-containing cones are collected, leaving no opportunity for new seedlings in the existing groves. The existing trees had diameters up to five feet and some exceeded 150 feet in height. Age was estimated as up to 265 years. Stumps of trees cut prior to protection indicate that these trees can survive close to 400 years, approach 200 feet in height and eight feet in diameter. While huge compared to most other tree species, those are smaller numbers seen for the American sequoia and redwood species. Those can exceed 300 feet in height, 25 feet in diameter, and 2,000 years in age.