Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Ginkgo and Hiroshima

Seventy years ago Hiroshima was bombed. Some nearly 20KT yield uranium device fell some 30,000 feet and exploded several thousand feet above the city. The result was a massive ring of destruction. Surviving that was a few century old Ginkgo trees, tress which themselves had survived some 250 million years[1]. As a symbol of survival the Ginkgo has great standing. As we look backwards and then again look forward one thinks of these Ginkgos.

Some twenty five years ago I took a handful of Ginkgo nuts from the trees at the New York Botanical Garden. I placed them in my pocket, stink and all, and let them sit in my refrigerator to cold stratify over the winter and then planted them in my seed beds. Up they came and now twenty five years later I have one female tree filled with Ginkgo nuts. The legacy of 250 million years goes on. The hardy tree may survive us all, in some way shape or form, since its seeds will be transplanted elsewhere, to grow again.