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This unusual tree is a dawn-redwood - Metasequoia glyptostroboides - photographed at West University's Core Arboretum on Wednesday, August 23, 2017. Like larches and baldcypresses, dawn-redwoods are cone-bearing trees that shed their leaves in the fall. Metasequoia was once thought to be an extinct genus of trees that had been ancestors of the giant sequoias and coast redwoods of California. The fossil record indicates that Metasequoia trees grew over a vast area 50 million years ago. During World War II, a botanist discovered Metasequoia trees growing 100 feet tall in Szechuan Province, China. Word of the discovery of this "living fossil" reached America after the end of the war. The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University collected specimens in 1948, then distributed seedlings to other American botanical institutions. Today, dawn-redwoods are available from many mail-order nurseries and some garden centers. People grow dawn-redwoods for their soft, deciduous foilage, rapid growth, unusual appearance, and interesting history. (iPhone 6 Plus photo by Mark A. Shephard)

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WVU Core Arboretum - Dawn Redwood_5846.jpg
Copyright
Mark A. Shephard 2017
Image Size
2448x2448 / 7.4MB
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iPhoneography
This unusual tree is a dawn-redwood - Metasequoia glyptostroboides - photographed at West University's Core Arboretum on Wednesday, August 23, 2017. Like larches and baldcypresses, dawn-redwoods are cone-bearing trees that shed their leaves in the fall. Metasequoia was once thought to be an extinct genus of trees that had been ancestors of the giant sequoias and coast redwoods of California. The fossil record indicates that Metasequoia trees grew over a vast area 50 million years ago. During World War II, a botanist discovered Metasequoia trees growing 100 feet tall in Szechuan Province, China. Word of the discovery of this "living fossil" reached America after the end of the war. The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University collected specimens in 1948, then distributed seedlings to other American botanical institutions. Today, dawn-redwoods are available from many mail-order nurseries and some garden centers. People grow dawn-redwoods for their soft, deciduous foilage, rapid growth, unusual appearance, and interesting history. (iPhone 6 Plus photo by Mark A. Shephard)