Cameron University commemorated Arbor Day with the planting of a Gingko tree to the Lawton campus. The observance served as a prime opportunity for students enrolled in this semester’s Plants and Culture class to participate in the tree planting and to learn about the species. The Gingko was planted on the lawn between CETES and Nance Boyer Hall.
“The Gingko tree is considered both a shade tree and an ornamental tree,” says Dr. Terry Conley, a member of Cameron’s Tree Care Advisory Committee. “As it requires four hours of direct sunlight each day and is heat tolerant, the Gingko thrives in this region. We can expect the leaves to turn a vibrant shade of yellow each fall.”
Other members of the Tree Care Advisory Committee are Dr. Mike Dunn, Professor of Biology; John Osborne, Grounds Foreman, and Anna Paraskevopoulas, student.
The Ginkgo tree, also known as the Maidenhair, is a living fossil. The earliest leaf fossils of this species date to approximately 270 million years ago. The species was rediscovered in China in the 17th century and was first planted in what is now the United States in the 1700s. The seeds and leaves are rich in antioxidants and have been used historically in folk medicine, though recent scientific studies have discounted the health benefits that have been attributed to Gingko supplements.
The tree is slow growing during its first few years but once established, it grows in a pyramidal form and may reach 25 to 50 feet in height with a spread of 25 to 35 feet at maturity. The leaves are attractive due to their fan shape. The Gingko can live as long as 3,000 years.
The first Arbor Day was observed in Nebraska in 1872, when an estimated one million trees were planted. Arbor Day is now observed in all 50 states on varying dates in accordance with local climates.
April 22, 2019