The Q&A Archives: History of Ginko Trees

Question: I'd like to know anything you can pass along about Ginko Trees. Were they from China, how long have they grown in this country?

Answer: Ginko biloba did originate in Eastern China, where it had been cultivated for centuries by monks. If they hadn't kept it growing over the centuries, it may have been lost to us, as were most other trees from the period when ginko originated on the planet. According to the fossil record, it once grew in North America, but became extinct here. It's been growing for over 150 million years. It was introduced as a landscape tree in 1784, but I'm not sure if that's when it was introduced to "the world" or to North America.

Since ginko has been found to have medicinal properties, there's a lot of information in libraries and on the internet regarding this amazing tree. With a little searching, you'll find more references to ginko than you could ever hope to read. Hope this helps!

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