Ginkgo biloba trees in the Tianmu Shan Reserve
(Xitianmu Shan) -province Zhejiang-
in China


Tian Mu Shan Reserve (photo  © Peter del Tredici)
Photo left:
Ginkgo biloba on the edge of the Tianmu Shan Reserve (province Zhejiang) in China.
Height about 30 m,  108 cm (diameter at breast heigth).

Photos below:
The famous 'living fossil'  female Ginkgo tree growing on the edge of a steep cliff at  950 m in  the Tianmushan Reserve.
It occupies a total surface area of about 12 m2 and consist of 15 trunks larger than 10 cm, largest is 110 cm (diameter at breast heigth).  The fence protecting the tree was built in 1980.
The Chinese describe this tree as "an old dragon trying to fly".

Tian Mu Shan Reserve (photo  © Peter del Tredici)
Tian Mu Shan Reserve (photo  © Peter del Tredici)

Ginkgo biloba trees are on the UNEP-WCMC List of Threatened Species.

Tian Mu Shan Reserve, China

circle: Tianmu Shan Reserve

Tianmushan Biosphere Reserve is located in the Zhejiang Province in the eastern coastal region of China, about 230 km south-west of Shanghai. Also known as the ‘kingdom of big trees’, the biosphere reserve protects ancient wild Ginkgo biloba communities. Tianmushan has a long history of human activities dating back more than 2,000 years ago. Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism were practiced over centuries and have contributed to the conservation of nature in the region.  There about 244 Ginkgos grow mostly on stream banks, steep rocky slopes and the edges of exposed cliffs. Many are multitrunked, with at least two trunks, caused by damage experienced from soil erosion or other factors that stimulated root-like "basal chi-chi" at the base of the trees which  is a very important factor in explaining the long term persistence of the Ginkgo in this Reserve.
About 10% of the Ginkgos in the Tianmu Shan Reserve is estimated to be over 1000 years of age.
The Ginkgos' mean diameter in the Reserve at breast height is 45 cm, mean height 18.4 m.

Non-Chinese populations are all genetically close to this eastern lineage, indicating multiple human-mediated introductions of Ginkgo from eastern China into North America and Europe (Zhao et al., 2019).

With thanks to Dr. Peter Del Tredici, Director of Living Collections, Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, Jamaica Plain, MA (USA), who gave me permission to use these photos on my homepage.
From: Del Tredici P, Ginkgo biloba, Enzyklopädie der Holzgewächse: Handbuch und Atlas der Dendrologie - 6. Erg. Lfg., 10 pp. Ecomed Verlag, Landsberg, 1996.
Black and white photo from: Del Tredici P, Ling H, Yang G, The Ginkgos of Tian Mu Shan, Conservation Biology, volume 6, no.2:202-209, June 1992.

All photos on this page © Peter Del Tredici.

Related links:
International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources: Red list of threatened species
UNESCO - MAB Biosphere Reserves Directory: China-Tianmushan

More photos of Ginkgo trees in China: click here.

© Cor Kwant