Metasequoia glyptostroboides

Dawn Redwood

 

Tanger Arboretum, 230 N. President Avenue, Lancaster PA

 

With a trunk circumference at breast height of about 13.5 feet, this tall tree would rank fifth largest in Pennsyl- vania, as listed at pabigtrees.com.

 

After an absence of 25-million years (according to fossil records), Dawn Redwoods were reintroduced to North America in 1948.  Thus no American tree can be older than 70 (trees in China have reached 600 years).  Louise Arnold Tanger started planting trees in the late 1950s, so this specimen is probably close to 60 years old and so within a dozen years of the oldest Metasequoia in North America.

 

This amazing species probably evolved its deciduous habit -- rare among conifers, which are generally evergreen -- to adapt to the extreme north where periods of continuous light alternate with periods of con- tinuous darkness.