Giant Ginkgo Yongmunsa Temple
Location: Yongmunsa Temple, Yangpyeong, Gyeonggi Province, South Korea.
Rows of Ginkgo trees line both sides of the street leading up to the temple.
KBS World Radio writes on its website:
"The most impressive thing at Yongmunsa Temple is the old giant ginkgo tree. This ginkgo tree was nominated as Natural Monument No. 30 on December 3, 1962 when it was 1,100 years old, so the tree is now about 1,150 years old. This giant ginkgo tree is 42 meters high with a circumference of 14 meters at the height of an adult’s chest and its boughs are spread extensively - 14.1 meters to the east, 13 meters to the west, 12 meters to the south and about 16.4 meters to the north.
The giant ginkgo tree of Yongmunsa Temple is a female tree and has a large lump on the lower part of its trunk. This ginkgo tree is the tallest tree in Korea and also is the largest ginkgo tree in the orient. Compared to common trees, this tree has grand and stately bearing that amazes those who see it. According to a legend it is said that Prince Mauitaeja of King Gyeongsun of the Silla Kingdom planted the ginkgo tree on his way to Diamond Mountain to hide himself away and console himself for having lost his kingdom. Another legend says that the great monk Uisangdaesa put his wooden stick into the earth and the stick grew into a giant ginkgo tree. "