San Diego Botanic Garden joins in unity with friends and colleagues around the globe to dedicate a newly planted ginkgo tree descended from a mother tree that survived the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan more than 70 years ago. The ceremonial event will take place on August 5 at 4:15 p.m., corresponding to the exact time in Pacific Standard Time that the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. The commemoration will include several guest speakers as well as a leaf rubbing and community wish writing activities for attendees to participate in.
Please note: Select portions of the Garden will be accessible until 6 p.m., with last entry at 4:30 p.m. If you would like to visit the full Garden during your visit, it is recommended that you arrive before this event start time.
This significant tree is the result of a partnership with Green Legacy Hiroshima Initiative, a global campaign aiming to disseminate the universal messages of caution and hope that the unique survivor trees of Hiroshima represent. These trees call to mind the dangers of arms of mass destruction and nuclear weapons in particular, as well as the sacred character of humankind and the resilience of nature. Currently, seeds and saplings from the A-bombed trees are growing in more than 40 countries in a sustained, long-term (1,000-year) campaign, joining other efforts to establish a nuclear-free and more ecological planet.
San Diego Botanic Garden received its ginkgo as a seedling from Shukkeien garden in Japan in 2020 and was recently planted on-site in June of 2023.
The ginkgo, Ginkgo biloba, is one of the oldest living tree species in the world. It is the only species from an ancient group of trees that date back to the time before dinosaurs roamed the Earth. Commonly known as the Maidenhair Tree, the ginkgo is also referred to as a living fossil based on its history and ability to live up to 1,000 years. Native to China, it is believed to have been imported to Korea and Japan when Confucianism and Buddhism were introduced from China. Today, it is the only living representative of the order Ginkgoales (division Ginkgophyta), which contained approximately 15 genera that date from the Permian Period (about 298.9 million to 251.9 million years ago). The extinct genera are only known from fossilized leaves that resemble those of the present-day tree. Ginkgos are dioecious plants bearing either male or female flowers but not both, and thus need its opposite in order to reproduce. While we will not know the sex of our ginkgo tree for several decades, the planting symbolizes a hopeful opportunity to continue the lineage of survivor trees for hundreds, potentially thousands, of years to come.
We are honored to be a part of this initiative and invite the community to join us in commemorating the history, legacy, and symbol of peace that this beautiful tree represents