Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The Gingko Next Door

In our community someone has planted a Ginkgo tree.   It is very new, a small thin trunk with the crown standing no more than six feet high.  It is glorious.  The Gingko is native to China.  It is a unique species.  It is unchanged over millennia and is easily recognized in fossils dating back 270 million years.  The leaves are a lovely fan shape.  There is no other plant with similar leaves.  They are vibrant green in summer and a beautiful gold in autumn.  Gingkos come in separate sexes.  The females develop seeds after pollination which are soft and fleshy.  The seeds look lovely but smell rancid when they fall.  Gingkos grow to 100 feet or more.  The house that I grew up in had a stand of Gingkos along a wall beside the garage.  My mother loved them and had a gold pin made in the shape of a Gingko leaf.  I have that pin.  Gingkos grow very slowly.  Another generation, or two will live in our community before this tree reaches its full height.  I'm glad I will have time to watch its beginning.  My thanks to whoever is planning so far ahead! What a gesture of faith in the future.

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