Sunday, September 19, 2010
For years, outside our house near London a tree grew, many a car bumper, light cluster and cyclist had came across it.
It stood proud, during hosepipe bans and feet of snow.
I used to lock my bike to it.
It was not for a while did I discover how this tree has survived more than I have ever seen thrown at it. From Ice ages to Hydrogen bombs.
The trees ancestors date back about 200 million years.
It is the single remaining tree species of the hundreds that once existed and is know as the LIVING FOSSIL
The tree is biologically simple in construction, simple branching veins.
At the end of the War with Japan in the 1940s The United States detonated a hydrogen bomb
over Hiroshima , The Ginkgo Trees in the area survived and still grow today, will those that were not fully exposed. Here is a web site about these trees. Many have temples near them, some continually have temples rebuilt around them.
The Ginkgo tree was introduced into Britain from Japan in the 18th Century. The tree at Kew dates to this time and is included in the Tree Council’s “50 great British Trees”. The world’s oldest and largest specimen -over 1,000 years old and 60 m in height - is at Yon Mun Temple, South Korea. The tree, often planted near temples, is sacred to Buddhists. “Ginkgo” means “silver nut/apricot” and derives from the old Japanese name. “biloba” refers to the two-lobed leaf.
I have ordered some seeds, I will send a couple to Kev, keep some myself.
I was told that keeping a female tree was frowned upon, now I know why, they smell of rancid butter. Sadly this has pushed the tree into the endangered species. Because of the popularity of the male trees they are struggling in the wild. May a chance to help by planting seeds, though I think away from houses.