Friday, 10 October 2008

Long term survivor

Some years ago, to celebrate an anniversary, I decided to plant a tree.

I chose a Ginkgo Biloba, which are to be found all over Japan and whose nuts when fried are delicious. They have a downside in that in season the females can be quite pungent so I have planted the tree well away from the house and close to the fence, so it will create a problem for any new neighbours if the farmer ever develops his fields for housing.

Not only is the tree fruitful, and very beautiful, particularly in Autumn when its leaves change to bright yellow, but also it is an example of one of the great survivors in nature, for there were ginkgo biloba trees growing over 270 million years ago when the dinosours were around. Some individual specimens can live to more than 3000 years; there are some ginkgos still living which were only 1-2 kilometres from ground zero in Hiroshima.

It seemed to me that anything that could survive the vicissitudes of such a long period would be a good bet against whatever climate change could come up with. It also appears in today's newspapers that ginkgo extract halts the onset of alzheimers - good risk management all round.

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