Leaves are sprouting on a small ginkgo tree in a pot on my balcony. It is a fascinating plant, sometimes considered a living fossil, as it is the only surviving plant of the Gingkoales plant order. It is very hardy, and is getting increasing popularity as a city tree. Maybe one day, they will get tired of humans and uproot and walk away. Who knows?

In Sweden they used to be rare. I had only heard of gingko biloba as a "nature medicine" and I was not aware it is a unique type of tree. The first time I saw a ginkgo was in Japan in the mid-90s. E.g. in Osaka, were they line the Midosuji Boulevard/Avenue.

When I had a house, the tree rested in the basement during winter. It was a bit cold around there for it to survive outdoors. These days it lives in an insulated pot, and for winter I wrap the pot up in a thick layer of newspaper to give it extra protection, and put it in a corner. The past few winters have not be very cold, so my ginkgo + my balcony is a bit of untested territory.

Having a living fossil makes me feel young.

Ginkgo leaves sprouting in May


  1. That is a great shot of it! I want a tree in my garden too. Then again, it will be burried in sand and mud before I know it…Poor tree :p

    How about a picture of your entire balcony? 🙂

    • Ginkgos are resistance to air pollution and some even survived the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. I don’t know about sand or mud though :p
      I guess you can put a little fence around it and make a story about a tree living in its own little garden? 🙂

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