About 345 million years ago, the Ginkgo appeared on the earth. It was widely distributed in Europe, Asia and America in the northern hemisphere. For hundreds of millions of years it had been thriving and prosperous alongside the dinosaurs. And then it disappeared from the earth, except in very few mountainous regions in China. Ginkgo is the tie, linking history and reality. The National Museum of China in Beijing displays the restored image of ‘A Beijing Homo erectus picks Ginkgo Seeds 400,000-500,000 Years Ago’.
The book has been edited from decades’ work by a native Chinese botanic photographer Jimmy Shen, who lives in the wild Ginkgo forests, in east China, plus stories supervised by top Ginkgo scholars from paleobotanists to university professors. His works has been published and exhibited internationally. Nurtured by traditional Chinese painting aesthetics, he has created a picture book of native ginkgos, to share his decades’ work. On top of a mountain at Dongqing Village, Guanxin Commune, Xuyong County, Sichuan Province, there is a millenniums Ginkgo, its roots extend down the mountain, 2,296 ft/700 m away from the base. So it has the longest root. The tree was 82.0 ft/25.0 m high. Originally about 25 miles/40 kilometers away, on the bank of the Chishui River in neighbouring Guizhou Province, there was a male Ginkgo of same age. Every year, the male tree used to send pollen for the female tree, which grew a lot of seeds. The most outstanding couple Ginkgos are at XiAn Village, Duanxin Commune, Wuyuan County, Jiangxi Province, both 108.3 ft/33.0 m tall; with diameter at breast height of 7.68 ft/2.34 m for the male, 5.64 ft/1.72 m for the female. Standing on either bank of a stream, they grow up high toward each other. One holds some part of the other. One root of the male, its diameter over 1.96 ft/0.60 m, 13.1 ft/4.0 m long, grows across the stream into the female’s base.