According to Chinese news website Xinhuanet, Foresters, research scientists and the local population have been working hard to rescue a 1,700 year old Ginkgo tree in China’s Hunan Province.
As great lovers of Ginkgo’s at The Plant Enthusiast this news was of particular interest, in part because a venerable tree was at risk, but mainly because of the incredible response to the trees suffering.
The tree started to go downhill in early summer, and by June the leaves were turning yellow and withering on the branches.
The Hunan Province has been experiencing drought and high temperatures during the summer. While Ginkgo are rarely attacked by pests or pathogens the warm temperatures led to a increased risk.
Yi Guo’ao, a forest ranger in Hunan’s Huarong County explained; “Local villagers first found the tree in critical condition. They watered it in turns and reported to the forestry authorities”
Xinhuanet goes on to explain; ‘The dying ginkgo tree is the oldest of three ancient trees under top national protection in the county. With great historic and commemorative value, it was named as the most beautiful Ginkgo tree in the province last year.”
(There is something rather wonderful about a nation where they name their most beautiful Ginkgo tree!)
Experts soon arrived on site and identified the potential issues facing the venerable tree, carried water to the tree and sprayed insecticides agains potential pest populations, but the issue was finally resolved by researchers from the Hunan Academy of Forestry who used drones to apply pesticide, and requested villagers to remove shrubs and weeds around the tree to relieve water stress, and increase air movement around the tree, as well as digging a ditch to irrigate the tree with mountain water.
Yi was able to confirm to Xinhaunet that the tree is recovering.