Gold and Bold Ginkgos in Redding

Ginkgo trees © 2011 DesktopNexus

Ginkgo trees are gold and bold in Redding, according to an article posted today by the Redding Record.  The showy trees are described as, “Pretty, prehistoric and sometimes putrid…” “tough enough to withstand an atomic bomb; and old enough to be called living fossils.”

“The trees have quite a track record,” the Record reports, having “outlived the dinosaurs. Even an atomic bomb didn’t faze them. Several ginkgos survived the blast of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, in World War II and are still living, notes the The Ginkgo Pages, a website devoted to ginkgo trees.”

Marie Stadther, lead gardener for Turtle Bay Exploration Park in Redding, which has among its facilities the Mediterranean-focused McConnell Arboretum and Garden, praises the Ginkgo for its”deep roots” which make “them unlikely to pop walkways or crack patios the way shallow-rooted trees do.”

The ginkgo tree is the lone survivor of the ancient family Ginkgoaceae. Fossils of ginkgo leaves date back more than 250 million years, according to an Oregon Department of Forestry publication. It is thought to have once covered the globe, but then the ice age shrank the tree’s territory and the tree was thought to be extinct until 1691, according to the Record.  There male and female ginkgos with female trees producing seeds with a yellow, fleshy exterior that drop in autumn and begin to ferment, giving off an offensive odor.  “Because of the stench, there’s little demand for female trees,” the Record reports, “Places to see mature ginkgos in Redding include Oregon Street near the downtown post office, the Sundial Bridge parking lot and the northeast side of Shasta College’s theater building. And now is the time to take a look. Ginkgos are in their glory in autumn.”

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