Friday, November 9, 2012

Grandfather Clause, Ginkgo bilboa

I am often talking to a customer at our booth at a market or at the nursery who may be browsing at some of our small trees when they say, "Its no use for me to plant one of those, I would never live long enough to see it get very large". I have heard that more than once and it really has gotten to the point it angers me. First thinking you will die before you would ever be able to enjoy something is not very positive thinking. Second it is very selfish to think of planting a tree where you are the only one to benefit from it. That selfishness really describes many things about our society of recent years, "I want mine, the rest of you be"damned".

Long before humans walked the earth trees were growing. Ginkgo biloba fossils can be found in the fossil record for millions of years. While now it has no close relatives and is only native to China, fossils have been found in North Carolina in such places as the Solite Quarry on the North Carolina-Virginia border. The trees are capable of living for hundreds even a few thousand years. It's branches have almost perfect symmetry. It has a good central leader naturally. The leathery parasol shaped leaves turn a beautiful yellow color in the fall. Most years all leaves drop all at once. The trees are very durable of coure having been on the earth as long as they have. And once they get established and reach head high they bolt to the sky. Ginkgo has in recent years became popular in herbal supplements to treat illnesses such as Alzheimers.

As humans while we cannot control what nature does, we still must continue living. And someone will come after us. I hope those who follow dont look back at us and think of us as the lazy predecessors that would not take five minutes of our lives to plant something they could enjoy with reverence. Plant a tree, you will enjoy it also. And I suppose with millions of years of fossils as evidence, Ginkgo qualifies as native under the "Grandfather" clause.

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