We truly hope that you enjoy reading this article about 3 Tantalizing Trees of Asia as much as we enjoyed creating it for you. Obviously, these selections represent only a handful of the varieties of trees to be found here. We think, however, that they represent the region well.
Their many related species around the world have been called the lungs of the earth by some. To be certain, these 3 Tantalizing Trees of Asia do their part in that effort. As such, they fully deserve to be appreciated for their work on our behalf, as well as for their majesty.
Dawn Redwood Facts
- Leading off this article about 3 Tantalizing Trees of Asia comes the majestic flora known simply by its common name of the Dawn Redwood.
- Perhaps most notably, the magnificent plant type forms one of only three known varieties of redwood trees known to man. That fact alone makes it worthy of note, to those who appreciate the grandeur and majesty of these large-growth trees.
- The great majority of botanists, however, had believed the fabulous species to be extinct. This erroneous belief held sway until the rediscovery of the species in 1944. That record-setting discovery, even more amazingly, occurred completely accidentally.
- This conifer also remains the only known member of its genus to still remain in existence. A known total of three other species once also filled the genus, though. But quite sadly, these three other varieties of the tree became extinct in the distant past.
- Quite unfortunately as well, the known population of this species only numbers a few thousand individual specimens. Given this sad fact, plus its highly localized native populations, the IUCN presently lists the gorgeous redwood as Endangered.
- Like many species around the world, the Dawn Redwood faces the threat of extinction, at least in the wild. Deforestation in its native area now poses a dire threat to the few remaining wild specimens. And, of course, climate change also poses a great danger.
Dawn Redwood Physical Description
Much like all known lexisting varieties of Redwood, the gorgeous Dawn Redwood attains an enormous height. Despite its great size, this variety nevertheless remains the smallest of the three known types, by far. But, its branches also reach the greatest width, relative to height.
Mature specimens of this beautiful tree average about 120 ft (37 m) in height. Exceptional plants sometimes greatly exceed this measurement, though. The tree also grows exceptional quickly. In fact, the tallest one ever reliably measured grew to a height of about 165 ft (50 m).
The bark of this stunning deciduous tree additionally develops in comparatively elongated vertical strips. Surprisingly, however, the bark of the amazing Dawn Redwood quite often peels away in relatively thin strips. The same bark also develops a deep brown color.
Its leaves further develop on opposing sides of a stem. These average a length of 0.4 – 1.18 in (1 – 3 cm). The same leaves display a bright green color at first, but slowly turn reddish-brown or dark orange in Autumn. Its rounded pollen cones average 0.2 in ( 5 mm) in length.
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Phylum: Tracheophytes
- Class: Pinopsida
- Order: Pinales
- Family: Cupressaceae
- Genus: Metasequoia
- Species: M. glyptostroboides
Dawn Redwood Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Unfortunately, the amazing Dawn Redwood has an extremely limited range of natural habitation. That holds true due to the fact that the rare species grows naturally in only the Lichuan county, of the Hubei province. This area forms part of the country of China, in Asia.
Even in this location, however, it has rather specific habitat requirements. Sadly, this only serves to increase its danger in the wild. That’s because all known naturally occurring specimens appear only on the hills and wetlands of the county in China that it inhabits.
The marvelous tree represents a fascinating example of the principle known as adaptive evolution, in the minds of many researchers. This holds true due to the fact that scientists theorize that the species did not originally evolve as deciduous, but as an evergreen.
The consensus among researchers is that the species slowly altered its natural state over time, in response to its environmental conditions. Evidence indicates the possibility that the majority of all known specimens in the wild sprang from one single parent tree, still living.
That specific tree, not entirely surprisingly, now forms the central part of a special shrine. The remarkable Dawn Redwood has also become quite popular as an ornamental plant, appearing in numerous parks and gardens. This, at least, aids in its preservation.
Dove Tree Facts
- Our next choice for inclusion in this compendium of 3 Tantalizing Trees of Asia is the stunningly beautiful variety appropriately known as the Dove Tree.
- The appealing term for the species succinctly serves as one of several common names for an especially lovely variety of tree. This flora also goes by such alternate common names as the ghost tree, handkerchief tree, and the pocket handkerchief tree.
- Among professional botanists, however, it bears another, somewhat less descriptive term, that being the scientific name of Davidia involucrata. Regardless of which term you use, though, this tree stands out for more than just its great beauty.
- Added to that great visual appeal, this distinctive plant also currently remains the only member of its entire genus. It bears its official name in honor of Father Armand David, a French missionary, who first officially described the species, in 1869.
- Quite thankfully, this wonder of Nature appears to still be reasonable abundant within its native range. It has also been widely cultivated as an ornamental plant. The IUCN, therefore, currently has no listing for it on the Red List of Threatened Species.
- Those specimens of the delicate Dove Tree growing in the wild must nonetheless be considered to facing at least some danger. Habitat loss poses a potential threat, as it does to many species, but climate change likely represents its greatest danger.
Dove Tree Physical Description
The great beauty of the wonderful Dove Tree isn’t its only impressive attribute. This remarkable specimen of flora also attains a moderately large size, especially for a tree considered as an ornamental species, attesting to its great appeal to mankind.
While exceptional specimens do exist, of course, an average height measure between 66 – 82 ft (20 -25 m). Yet another impressive feature remains its rate of growth. Although not the fastest-growing type of tree known, it nonetheless ranks as above average in this.
Its foliage also attracts the attention, with its unique, roughly heart-shaped leaves. These typically reach a size measuring 4 – 8 in (10 – 20 cm) in length, and 2.75 – 5.9 (7 – 15 cm) in width. The fruit, meanwhile, develops as a hard nut, about 1.2 in (3 cm) in length.
But the Dove Tree remains best known for its gorgeous blooms, from which its common name derives. These develop as part of a group, known as an inflorescence. Once formed, the flowers display a bright white color, and shape some consider to resemble a dove.
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Phylum: Angiopserm
- Class: Eudicots
- Order: Cornales
- Family: Nyssaceae
- Genus: Davidia
- Species: D. involucrata
Dove Tree Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
The beautifully evolved example of flora known as the Dove Tree only possesses a moderate-sized habitat range. That range, however, happens to be a region of the world already well known for its abundance and great diversity of life, both fauna and flora.
This particularly lovely and unique Angiosperm evolved as endemic to a very specific portion of the expansive continent of Asia. Within that geographical area, the plant appears naturally in only the south central and southwest portions of the country of China.
More specifically, it inhabits an area that includes the provinces of Hubei, southern Gansu, Guizhou, Sichaun, and Yunnan. Quite sadly, though, even within this range, the known population groupings of this remarkable species of tree seem comparatively scattered.
Its precise habitat varies across its range, as well, though certain ones predominate. Individuals and groves appear in both temperate forests and alone. These also develop at altitudes of as much as 6,562 ft (2,000 m), and in such harsh conditions as within gorges.
The blooms of the magnificent Dove Tree develop in the local Spring season, and typically reach their peak around the month of May. Pollination of this species considered a living fossil, occurs via the action of various insect species, most notably local bee species.
Korean Fir Facts
- The final subject in this compilation of 3 Tantalizing Trees of Asia is the amazingly evolved varity understandably known as the Korean Fir.
- This fabulous example of the wonders of nature bears a highly informative common name. Among professional researchers, however, it has a different somewhat harder to pronounce name. That’s because its official scientific designation is Abies koreana.
- The famed British explorer and collector of plants, Ernest Henry Wilson, made the first formal recognition of the plant as a separate and distinct species. This he accomplished in the year 1920. Roughly sixty other plant varieties also now bear his name.
- Most unfortunately, this marvel of evolution has several factors working against it, in terms of its continued survival. Given the specifics of its range, habitat loss certainly poses a threat. Its greatest danger, though, comes in the form of climate change.
- Given these factors, the IUCN, quite understandably, now lists the beautiful Korean Fir as Endangered. This status is reflected on the organization’s Red List of Threatened Species. Presently, no organized efforts exist to preserve this conifer in the wild.
- The magnificnent tree does, however, have one surprising factor working in its favor. That’s the fact that it’s now become quite popular in many parts of the world as an ornamental species. As a result, specimens now exist in many parts of the world.
Korean Fir Physical Description
Though the awesome Korean Fir does impress those who encounter it, the tree does so for reasons other than sheer size. That’s because the remarkable tree ranks as a small to medium-sized variety of coniferous evergreen. The wonders of Nature come in all sizes.
In the instance of this particular species, however, significant variations occur. Mature specimens, though typically range in height from 33 – 59 ft (10 -18 m). These same individuals further develop with an average trunk diameter measuring about 2.3 ft (0.7 m).
The highly variable plant will, however, sometimes only attain the size of a large shrub. Yet, at all sizes, the same general physical characteristics manifest. These include bark that remains mostly smooth, with some resin blisters. In color, this presents as a grayish-brown.
Its leaves also develop a distinctive appearance, being needle-like, flattened, and with a glossy dark green color. The arrangement of these is a spiral pattern, but each is variably twisted at its base. These begin as a grayish-green, but turn pinkish-gray when mature.
The cones of the Korean Fir, however, remain the most notable trait of the visually impressive tree. These average 1.6 – 2.8 in (4 – 7 cm) in length, and relatively broad in shape, averaging 0.8 in (2 cm). These also present a bluish-purple color before maturing.
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Phylum: Pinophyta
- Class: Pinopsida
- Order: Pinales
- Family: Pinaceae
- Genus: Abies
- Species: A. koreana
Korean Fir Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Most unfortunately, one of those factors working agaisnt the Korean Fir is its range of habitation. That’s because it evolved ass endemic to a highly limied portion of the globe. This consists of a tiny portion of South Korea, in Asia. This does, though, include Jeju Island.
The impediments it faces don’t stop there, though. That holds true due to the fact the habitat requirements of this stunning species remain very specific. In fact, it appears in regions of temperate rainforest, at altitudes ranging from 3,300 – 6,200 ft (1,000 – 1,900 m).
Given this range, some facts stand out. The species understandably evolved to not only survive in, but to thrive in the very specific weather patterns of the region. These include cool, damp summers with bountiful rainfall, and winters with copious amounts of snow.
The tree does, however, follow a fairly standard method or reproduction for its kind. As a result, individual specimens release their numerous seeds as the many cones disintegrate after maturity. This usually occurs between 5 – 6 months after their pollination.
3 Tantalizing Trees of Asia
We sincerely hope that you have thoroughly enjoyed reading this article about 3 Tantalizing Trees of Asia. We also hoped that it has enhanced both your knowledge and appreciation of such natural wonders. These wondrous works of evolution fully deserve that from us.
Sadly, however, many kindred of these 3 Tantalizing Trees of Asia now find themselves in great peril. If trees disappeared from the earth, the damage to our ecology would be irreparable. Let us do all that we can to protect and preserve them for our posterity.