THE GINKGO PAGESGinkgo rain: leaves all fall at the same time
The leaves of Ginkgo trees may all fall in a short period of time, sometimes in one or two hours! This is recorded in many parts of the world in fall.
I made a selection of videos from YouTube (thanks to all videomakers!) presented in the playlist below.
Watch this video playlist with many videos of Ginkgo trees and falling leaves.
It is thought local climate, time, hormones and genes may regulate the abscission of leaves in trees in general.
The sudden falling of the Ginkgo leaves (abscission) is sometimes subject to an annual raffle or is called "Ginkgo Day" or "Ginkgo festival".
you catch a Ginkgo leaf as it floats to earth, you'll have good luck."
Some citations from several websites about this phenomenon:
when I sat down to write here this morning, its still-green leaves made
a lacy veil that hung between me and the peachy light of dawn. Then
a soft but continuous rustling sound commenced and I looked out to see
that the veil was breaking apart. The strong morning light that poured
in on these floorboards suddenly blinked and flickered with movement.
The leaves were coming down, not singly or in ones and twos but by the hundreds; and in the time it has taken me to write these lines every single one has fallen.
A scant two hours ago, in other words, I sat down by this window in a season still leafy with tokens of growth. I rise now in a season when all growth has ended. So for me at least, autumn is past. ** (website)
** Back in my Smithie days, students used to take bets on when the large, old (planted around 1896!)ginkgo tree on campus would drop its leaves.** (website)
years ago I caught many leaves, and happened to give one to “Dr.
K.”, a colleague of mine who had passed by and asked me what I was doing.
(The short version does not adequately paint the picture of people standing
underneath a tree, craning their necks skyward, lunging randomly at falling
leaves, usually missing…) Dr. K. had recently been through a divorce, and
thought she could really use some luck. Well…within the next week or two,
she had met a man, a very nice man, an English teacher. She credited the
ginkgo leaf. No, really. She told him about it, and gave him that same
ginkgo leaf, laminated into a bookmark. A few months later, he carefully
cut the leaf out of the bookmark, and presented it to her in a poem he
had written, in which he proposed marriage. Of course, she accepted, and
credited the ginkgo leaf. I have a copy of a poem he read at the wedding,
crediting the ginkgo for their meeting and love. (The final copy, framed
with that same leaf, is on the wall in their house.) The wedding cake had
green ginkgo-leaf frosting; she wore gold ginkgo-leaf earrings. One of
their wedding gifts was a set of crystal goblets etched with ginkgo leaves.
In subsequent years, I would see her at the tree on Ginkgo Day, catching leaves for friends. “I really do believe in this!” Two years ago, she moved out of state. At her new house, of course, they have planted a ginkgo tree. ** (website)
to campus legend, classes are cancelled on the day the Ginkgo trees shed
their leaves. ..
Some communities actually do interrupt their fall schedules to celebrate the ginkgo. Many Japanese cities, and at least a couple here in the U.S., have Ginkgo Festivals. Less grand affairs, sometimes referred to as “Ginkgo Day,” are more attentive to the trees. Activities include catching the leaves as they fall** (website)
** All of a
sudden I realized that the tree was dropping its leaves - all at once -
on its own. I jumped up and ran outside. It was a magnificent sight. I
stood there with my mouth open as I watched the leaves fall to the ground.
It was a shower of gold. Beautiful little fans were gently flitting and
floating to the ground. Some were twirling, and others fell slowly as though
they were golden snowflakes.
It was a moment of pure joy. I could feel my heart swelling with happiness as I stood there smiling and thinking what a privilege it was to see this glorious display of nature. ** (more on this website)
** We have those trees in our town, Alamogordo NM, we have one in our front yard that does the same thing, today in fact! All over town the trees were doing the same thing, it's crazy that it does it on the same day!** (website)
UNH, where there are about a dozen ginkgoes planted around campus, the
tree is probably best known for its curious habit of dropping its leaves
all at once, in a flurry of golden yellow. As president of the UNH chapter
of the National Forestry Honor Society, Dellenbaugh is in charge of the
annual ginkgo tree raffle. For more than 40 years, students have placed
their bets, guessing when the leaves on the specimen outside James Hall
will let loose. The winner receives a free pizza.
When the leaves finally do fall, the tree always attracts an audience. "Tradition has it that if you catch a ginkgo leaf as it floats to earth, you'll have good luck," says Dellenbaugh, who managed to snag one last year. "But they're actually quite difficult to catch," she reports. "Because the leaves are fan shaped, their falling pattern is very erratic. As soon as you think you have it in your hand, it darts out of reach."
This year, 70 people—students, as well as faculty and staff members—participated in the raffle. Small slips of paper filled the cardboard box in the James Hall lobby throughout October, and then into early November as the leaves held on. At 7 a.m. on Nov. 4, the leaves finally fell. The tree was bare within a few hours. Senior Matt Spinner, who came closest with his Nov. 5 prediction, won the traditional pizza, supplied by the honor society. Perhaps he ate it with friends, sitting beneath the ginkgo tree.** (website)
live on Long Island in New York, and my two Ginkgo trees just survived
Super Storm Sandy...
I have two 30 ft Autumn Harvest Ginkgo trees and was worried that they wouldn't survive Sandy with their very full crowns and delicate appearing limbs...as the winds picked up and storm wore on for hours and hours, all of a sudden, these 2 trees just dropped their leaves all at once...they survived without a twig being lost, but I found this behavior very odd...do you know how or why this happened and if it will harm the trees. The leaves were mostly green and under normal weather conditions they would have lost their leaves in another 3 weeks or so.... (reaction on my blog)
read the poem "The Consent" by Howard Nemerov on my website here.
Read more on my blog here (search contents for "leaves").
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© Cor Kwant