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February 28, 2006

Ancient Ginkgo in Beijing, China

The construction of Beijing’s Tanzhe Temple predates the construction of the city itself. So no one could deny that these trees at the temple have been witnesses to the changes in Beijing. The Emperor of Trees is, in fact, a 1,000-year-old ginkgo tree. It stands more than 30 meters high and its trunk requires seven people to join hands to surround it. It is said that whenever a new emperor succeeded to the throne, the tree put out a new trunk. In the course of time, the new trunks joined the main trunk. It was Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty who gave it the name the Diwang (Emperor) of Trees. It grew a new trunk during the reign of Emperor Xuantong, at the end of the Qing Dynasty, however, Xuantong had no successor for the reign of the Qing Dynasty.
More about ancient trees in Beijing here.


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