Ginkgo biloba ‘Survivor’ Syn. ‘Chernobyl’ derives from an offshoot taken from one of the of the six Ginkgoes that were within 2,200 meters of the atomic bomb site in Hiroshima, Japan. (It is worth noting that roughly 170 trees are famous for surviving the bomb that exploded in Hiroshima on August the 6th 1945). At the time trees were in full leaf, the heat immediately burned those leaves into nonexistence. The branches were instantaneously stripped away, leaving the outer bark which was completely scorched. Fortunately, the bark was just strong enough to protect the life within. The trees would have been exposed to massive amounts of radiation. But even after being exposed to what were perhaps the most horrific conditions in the history of the planet, the trees survived in the polluted soil going on to flower the following year.
Description – Ginkgo biloba ‘Survivor’ Syn. ‘Chernobyl’. The leaves are dark green and misshapen; it is rare to find a typical leaf on the plant. Most leaves are narrow, occasional leaves that resemble Ginkgo biloba ‘Saratoga’ are in evidence. Every twig has slight kinks or twists between each node, giving the stems a zig zag, distorted appearance. The rate of growth is slow, usually 15 cm to 20 cm a year. If unsupported the plant natural forms a mound of twisted stems. In 10 years, it may attain a height of 1 m with a spread of 1.5 m. There is no indication of the eventual height and spread, but we would be surprised if it eventually exceeded 3 m – 4 m in height with a spread of 5 m. This might make an interesting subject if it were top worked, and the stems allowed to cascade downwards. The autumn colour is reasonable.
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