> Trees of Winona State University > Dawn Redwood
1. Dawn Redwood
One spring several years ago, a WSU student worker who assisted the grounds crew suggested planting a tree for a class project. After discussing the various options, the Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides) was selected. Early on a Saturday morning representatives from the student's class helped plant the Dawn Redwood; the tree with a fascinating history.
This particular species was previously known through fossil records, which date back 30-50 million years. Considered to be a relative of the Sequoia, the Dawn Redwood is a deciduous conifer.
Most conifer trees are commonly thought of as evergreens. However, the Dawn Redwood exhibits deciduous tree behavior because its needle-like leaves turn color in autumn and are dropped.
As recently as the mid-1940s, this tree was thought to be extinct until living Dawn Redwood trees were found in the province of Hupeh, China. In 1944, the Dawn Redwood was re-introduced to the U.S. by the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University.
The Dawn Redwood is a rapid growing tree and can grow to be 60 feet tall. Its leaves are needle-like, opposite, and arranged in flat sprays. They are 1/2 to 1 1/2 inches long, soft and light green turning a bronzy brown in the fall. The tree features fissured and shredded bark.
WSU's sole Dawn Redwood can be found just west of the main (north) entrance to Memorial Hall.
(see #52 on the maps)
Last Modified: Thursday, May 08, 2008 13:59 by Rhone Richard