Metasequoia glyptostroboides (Dawn Redwood)
The Dawn redwood, Oregon’s state fossil, was discovered in 1940s’ China in live form. It’s a deciduous conifer with reddish bark and upwardly swooping branches. The Dawn redwood designated an Oregon and Portland Heritage Tree (see plaque) is from China seed and was the first of its kind in the Western hemisphere to produce cones in millions of years. It is one of North America’s five tallest Dawn redwoods (see full story outside Visitor Center entrance). Find it at the end of Bray Lane (via the Spruce Trail), on the left just before the parking circle.
Magnolia grandiflora ‘Victoria’ (Southern Magnolia)
In bloom now, the Southern Magnolia has large, shiny, leathery leaves serving as a foil to dramatic, very fragrant white flowers. This gorgeous tree is hard to miss!
Hydrangea paniculata (Late Panicle Hydrangea)
The Late Panicle Hydrangea adds some wonderful color along Beech Trail this time of year. Set against coarsely textured leaves, multiple, large white blooms surround the outer circumference of this fast-growing shrub. Find it on the Beech Trail, south of Upper Cascade Dr.
Gleditsia triacanthos var. inermis (Honey Locust)
In August, Honey Locust trees begin to form their unique seed pods. Look for the long, twisted pods, hanging against glossy green compound leaves. Keep an eye out along the bark for numerous long and branched thorns. Find it along the Wildwood Trail, east of the water tower and south of Upper Cascade Dr.