The Newport Tree and Open Space Commission has chosen Newport’s 2010 Tree of the Year:
This beautiful Ginkgo biloba was nominated by Kathryn Lucey, who said:
“There are many Ginkgos along Newport’s streets, but
this is by far the most magnificent–especially in the Fall.”
The Ginkgo biloba is the last surviving species of this unusual genus.
A ‘living fossil,’ the Ginkgo tree (or Maidenhair) is one of the oldest surviving plant species on earth (over 280 million years old!). At one time native to New England, and considered one of the most primitive plants on earth today, it was long thought to be extinct in the wild. There is still debate about this. Although surviving stands of Ginkgo have been discovered in China, it is not known if they were cultivated or if they constitute a truly wild, native population of Ginkgo.
Ginkgo trees can be male or female. If you have a female Ginkgo, be careful to rake up fruit in the fall; it quickly becomes rancid.