I think the easiest way to grow them is from seed, which is readily available. Out of 75 seeds, over two years, I now have 4 growing (Montgomery County, MD). They germinate well, but do not tolerate the dry summers. I had at least 30 growing until last summer when we went on vacation for 3 weeks. Apparently it did not rain much while we were gone and almost all of them died. A few got dug up by squirrels or had the tops bitten off and died. While one can grow them here, they need to be watered in the summer when small, and possibly for life. They are much less robust than either Taxodium or Metasequoia in this area. The ones that survived were in a flowerpot container, buried in the soil, with rich (black) soil, not the clay that composes most of our yard. Unfortunately, they grew too big for the flowerpot, so I transplanted them into the backyard (into Maryland clay) and will see if they survive the summer.
Matt Kramer: KramerM at ba.ars.usda.gov
Biometrical Consulting Service
Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (USDA)
Bldg. 005, Rm. 130, BARC-West
10300 Baltimore Ave
Beltsville, MD 20705-2350
Tel: 301.504.8121 Fax: 301.504.9442