Even before the war ended, a small circle of Chinese scientists had become fascinated by the tall, deciduous conifers found in the Szechuan province. At first, the Chinese forester thought he had found samples of a Chinese Swamp Cypress, but nonetheless, in 1943 samples of the tree were sent to two Chinese botanists, Chung-Lun Wu and Wan-Chun Cheng who worked and lived in close proximity to the original site in western China.
The two scientists soon realized that their botanical evidence was not from any known living tree and so samples of the plant eventually ended up in Beijing in the hands of Hsen-Hsu Hu, a well-known botanist who had studied at Harvard University and was employed at the Fan Memorial Institute of Biology, in Bjeing.
In 1946 Hu matched the samples with the fossil record of the plants studied by the Japanese paleontologist and realized that he had in his possession the same tree that had been showing up in the fossil record for many years. Now, it became apparent that a tree once thought wiped off the face of the planet was now growing in a remote area of western China.
Right away, he notified Dr. E. D. Merrill, his old teacher at the Arnold Arboretum in Harvard. At the same time he also sent some leaf samples of the tree. The Harvard botanist agreed with Hu on his findings and the name of Metasequoia glyptostroboides was given to the newly discovered tree.