, Dawn redwood foliage - note opposite arrangement. It is native to the Sichuan–Hubei region of China. The tree faces considerable risks of extinction in its wild range due to deforestation, however it has been planted extensively in arboreta worldwide, where it has proved a popular and fast-growing ornamental plant. This species tends to struggle without irrigation in arid climates such as the American West unless planted directly on or adjacent to a body of water such as a pond or stream.  The samples were determined to belong to a tree yet unknown to science, but World War II postponed further study.  There is a small grove of dawn redwoods at Bailey Arboretum in Locust Valley, New York, including one tree which is claimed to be the world's largest by diameter. But this dawn... it’s massive, healthy, gnarly and I like the carving as an option... and the root base is quite nice imo. , In 1941, the genus Metasequoia was reported by paleobotanist Shigeru Miki as a widely distributed extinct genus based on fossils, before attracting considerable attention a few years later when small populations were found alive in central China. Though unaware of Miki's new genus, he recognized the unique traits of the tree. Metasequoia glyptostroboides, the dawn redwood, is a fast-growing, endangered deciduous conifer, the sole living species of the genus Metasequoia, one of three species in the subfamily Sequoioideae. Unfortunately, while he collected some plant material, he did not attempt to identify or publish his findings. Many sources claim that the original 1947 seedlots came from as few as one tree; however, this has proven to be false. If the species had been discovered a bit later, it might have become extinct before being investigated. * In the creative story I imply that Dawn is actually dioecious, meaning that different plants have different sexes.  Hua's collecting trip returned with several kilos of seed that were distributed over the next few months for growth trials to Chinese institutions; the Arnold Arboretum, Missouri Botanic Garden, and elsewhere in the United States; botanic gardens at Kew, Edinburgh, and other locations in the United Kingdom; as well as botanic gardens in continental Europe and worldwide. M. glyptostroboides is a fast-growing tree, exceeding 35 m (115 ft) in height and 1 m (3.3 ft) in trunk diameter by the age of 50, in cultivation (with the potential to grow to even greater dimensions). In 1943, Wang Zhan (Chan Wang, 1911–2000) of the National Bureau of Forest Research, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, Chongqing, collected samples from an unidentified tree in the village of Moudao (谋道镇; formerly Motaochi, Maodaoqi or Modaoxi) in Lichuan County, Hubei province—now believed to be the same tree Kan discovered. Seed distributed in the 1940s to Hillier Gardens near Winchester, UK, have thrived and are now the emblem of the gardens.  Between 1950 and 1980 several hundred were logged in Metasequoia Valley, some over 2 meters (6.5 feet) wide. , Ecotypic variation has developed in a variety of microhabitats. Similar to T. distichum, older trees may form wide buttresses on the lower trunk. Growth has been fastest in the south-east, but it is believed the tree may have a longer future in the more humid western regions. The thickest and tallest dawn redwoods listed by Monumental Trees are both in the Longwood Gardens of Kennett Square in Pennsylvania, United States. The dawn redwood tree was long thought to be extinct until it was rediscovered in 1941 by Mr. T. Kan while performing a survey in the Hubei and Sichuan provinces of China. The tallest is 41.15 m (135 ft) tall, and has a girth at breast height of 3.35 m (11 ft, average diameter 1.07 m, 3.5 ft).
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