On a recent trip to China, I learned that the ginkgo tree’s leaves are about the first to start changing color in the fall. My college campus had a ginkgo tree on it near a cafeteria. I remember people talking about the leaves in the fall. I always found the shape of the leaves very interesting, and I have never seen any other tree with a fan shaped leaf.
I did a little research and found out that the ginkgo is a living fossil recognizably similar to fossils dating back 270 million years. It is also native to China. The Zhejinag Province is known for growing this type of tree very well. The ginkgo comes in both male and female trees and are considered to be a very good tree for cities. The reason for their being considered a good tree for cities is that air pollution doesn’t seem to bother them as much as other trees. Also, the quality of soil doesn’t seem to impact them as much as other species. Many people enjoy eating the seed inside the nut of the tree, which is said to have medical powers. Many people believe consuming the ginkgo seed will provide enhanced cognitive functions.
To say the ginkgo is a hearty tree would be an understatement. Extreme examples of the ginkgo’s tenacity may be seen in Hiroshima, Japan, where six trees growing between 1–2 km from the 1945 atom bomb explosion were among the few living things in the area to survive the blast. While almost all other plants (and animals) in the area were destroyed, the ginkgos, though charred, survived and were soon healthy again. The trees are alive to this day.
So, you can enjoy the ginkgo for its shade, beauty, unique leaves, and enhancement to your thinking!