Metasequoia glyptostroboides 'Ogon' / Gold Rush dawn redwood

Metasequoia glyptostroboides 'Ogon' is commonly known by the trade name Metasequoia glyptostroboides 'Gold Rush'. It is a fast-growing selection of dawn redwood with pleasing bright yellow feathery foliage that will turn tawny brown before being shed in the fall. This is a deciduous conifer. 'Ogon' will create a striking statement in the landscape with it's golden foliage and heavily buttressed trunk. A mature specimen will easily exceed 20 feet (7 m) tall after 10 years in the landscape. It should be noted that the foliage will burn in the full sun. Young trees that do not receive adequate irrigation of highly prone to sun damage.

This cultivar originated in 1974 in Japan as a seedling selected from a batch of X-ray irradiated seed by the New Oji Paper Company. The original tree was planted in 1977 at the Kameyama breeding station, Institute for Forest Tree Improvement, New Oji paper co., Ltd, Mie, Japan. This plant has a very long and confusing saga pertaining to its proper nomenclature. Its original Japanese name was 'Ogon' which translates to "gold bullion" or "gold coin". With this definition the name 'Ogon' is a valid cultivar name.

In 1993, Pieter Zwijnenburg Jr., Boskoop, The Netherlands got the first propagation material directly from Japan and renamed it 'Goldrush' and began distributing it under that name in 1997. Around that same time, Larry Stanley & Sons nursery, Boring Oregon received it and starting distributing it under the name 'Gold Rush,' which to this day is the most commonly seen misspelling.

In 1995, New Oji Paper Company applied for a U.S. patent for this tree under the name, 'Golden Oji.' As it became aware that the plant was already circulating with a couple of different cultivar names, the patent was soon withdrawn. It is also occasionally seen listed as 'Golden Mantle.' Regardless, since 'Ogon' is the original recorded cultivar name that is the only one considered valid.

'Ogon' was one of two plants selected in 2006, the inaugural year of the highly popular ACS Collectors Conifer of the Year Program.

Metasequoia glyptostroboides 'Ogon'
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Close-up of foliage
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Metasequoia glyptostrostroboides 'Ogon' (Gold Rush) Photo taken at Iseli Nursery. Age unkown.
Photo by Dennis Groh
Metasequoia glyptostroboides 'Ogon' (Gold Rush) The Harper Collection of Dwarf & Rare Conifers located at Hidden Lake Gardens in Tipton, MI. Photo taken August of 2005.
Photo by Dax Herbst