In Japanese decorative art, the ginkgo’s distinctive fan-shaped leaf has carried symbolism along with its singular beauty: the ginkgo has been a symbol of longevity (the tree can live for a thousand years) and of a more profound endurance (four ginkgos survived the blast at Hiroshima and are still growing today).
Native to China, the ginkgo tree is beautiful and unique, both aesthetically and biologically. Having lived for over 225 million years, the ginkgo is one of the oldest known species on the planet. Wild populations of ginkgo are rare, existing only in two known regions of the Zhejiang province in China.
The large numbers of fruit drop from the tree, not only making a mess, but the squashed fruit also unleashes a rather unpleasant odor. All agree the aroma is unpleasant but to what degree depends upon the person – some describing it as ripe camembert cheese or rancid butter, and others comparing it more to dog feces or vomit. Whatever the case, most people who plant ginkgo trees choose to plant male trees.