Thursday, June 01, 2006
Dr. Bob Clark's Tree
We are fortunate to have this tree in Eugene. It is a 'living fossil' that was discovered in a remote mountain valley in Central China less than 100 years ago. Some of the small seeds were brought to America and are growing in several places in the United States. It was named the Metasequoia, or Dawn Redwood, because it appears to be the ancestor of the Redwood and the Big Tree, or Giant Sequoia, of California. It was supposed to have become extinct many millions of years ago, but, from fossil remains of its leaves, twigs and cones found in rocks often 100 million years old, it was known to have been widespread over the temperate regions of the northern hemisphere. The most surprising feature of the dawn redwood is that, unlike the evergreen sequoias, it sheds its leaves in autumn.