Abild-Tved Route EN - A Chinese resurrection
The dawn redwood was only known from fossil deposits in coal tar but was rediscovered in China and has been cultivated in Denmark since 1948.
Tønder State School’s botanical garden In 1939 Tønder State School bought the plot of land for just 50 cents per square meter from Tønder municipality. The garden was established right after World War II in 1945 and you didn’t see small signs with ‘Do not walk on the grass’ because you were allowed. Lector Johan Larsen was mostly in charge of the establishment and later on the care of the garden. It actually became his passion until his death in 1975. J. Larsen was son of a gardener at the Arboretum in Charlottenlund. His brother was the principal at the Arboretum in Hørsholm. From exactly these two gardens the Tønder Botanical garden received a consignment of incredible exciting plants in 1951. Especially one plant must here be emphasized: the dawn redwood (Metasequoia glytostroboides). The plant was considered extinct millions of years ago but was miraculously rediscovered in 1947 by young Chinese students from the University of Nanking. Deep in the woods they found some mature trees from which the botanists harvested seeds. The seeds were shipped to botanical gardens all over the world, incl. Denmark. The garden here was included in the State School’s botany lessons and was also diligently used by the citizens. Go have a look – you can still find exciting trees and sense the spirit of the place.
The tree here in the garden is sown from a seed from one of the dawn redwoods along the Yangtze River in China! Male inflorescences are small and oval while the females become pedunculated hanging cones wherein the seeds are sitting. The dawn redwood is a deciduous cone shaped conifer that turns light reddish brown in autumn