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February 23, 2012

Biggest Ginkgo tree in the world

China: In Li Jiawan, Guizhou province, grows the Grand Ginkgo King, c. 100 km west of Guiyang. It is the biggest Ginkgo tree in the world in trunk diameter (Guinness Book of World Records 1998), 30 m, girth breast height 15.6 m, canopy c. 1,200 m2.
This male Ginkgo tree is c. 4,000-4,500 years old.

Read all about this tree and its legends in this interesting article:
Xiang, Z., Y. Xiang, B. Xiang and P. Del Tredici, P. 2009. The Li Jiawan grand Ginkgo king.
Arnoldia 66(3): 26-30. (pdf)
Photo: Peter del Tredici

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February 18, 2012

Updates of my website The Ginkgo Pages

* New photo photospecial page: Ginkgo leaves in fall.

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February 16, 2012

Ginkgo sightseeing in Tokyo, Japan

Ginkgo trees in fall seen from an open-top tourist bus in Tokyo: Jingu Outer Gardens, streets near Houses of Parliament and more.
HD-video by momoandmie on YouTube.

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February 10, 2012

School Ginkgo project in Freeport, Ill

Principal Angela Sopko, along with students and teachers at Empire Elementary School at the school in Freeport Ill., pose in front of the Ginkgo tree - “The Tree of Knowledge” that the project has become known as.

Reporter Vonnie Maple of the Journal Standard has featured several articles about the Ginkgo in her Tree Tales column (read story here and here). One article featured a photo of this very own Ginkgo, planted in 1991 in honor of David Ludewig, who was a board member for Freeport School District.
Principal Sopko explained that since the running of the story on the Ginkgo outside their school, they have become determined to find out as much as they can about this ancient tree with the unusual leaves. She said she had been looking for a community project to start and thought this would be a good idea. Empire classrooms have been invited to research the Ginkgo and share their findings on a sheet of paper to display. Families and community members were also invited to submit information as well. Art teacher, Gwen Schuster, has created a ‘Ginkgo masterpiece’ on which the findings are posted.

Read full story here.
Photo Journal Standard.

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February 06, 2012

Virtual trees sway in wind

"Animators will soon be able to construct startlingly realistic sylvan beauty in movies and video games with a new system for generating 3D virtual trees.
Li, a computer animator at the University of Bath in the UK, and colleagues have developed software that generates realistic-looking 3D animated trees of any size and shape based on a rough 2D sketch. The trees even blow in the wind like their woody counterparts, and can be whipped around just by piping in a soundtrack of a blustery day."
Read more.


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February 02, 2012

Jai - Buddha's delight and Ginkgo nuts

"Jai - Buddha's delight is also called monk's food and is served at the Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations.
Enjoy this dish with family and friends for a healthy, wealthy and prosperous Chinese New Year!

Soak for 2 hours in hot water:
1-package mung bean noodles

Soak for 30 minutes in hot water, drain:
1-cup wood ear mushrooms (black fungus)
Half a package of bean curd sticks (cut into 2 inch strips after soaking)

Soak for 10 minutes in cold water:
1 cup fried wheat gluten (dao pok)
8 jadofu (aburage) fried tofu pockets, cut in half

Slice 3 cups shitakes (remove stems), 1-cup water chestnuts, 1-cup arrowroot (see goo), and 2 cups lotus root
Blanch 3 cups snow peas for 30 seconds then shock in ice bath
Shred 1 bunch Napa cabbage, remove core

Skin 1-cup ginkgo nuts (cut in half to remove sprout to avoid bitterness). Try peanuts as a substitute if ginkgo is unavailable

Boil 3-inch square piece of black hair seaweed (fat choy) for 10 minutes with a one-inch piece of ginger and a pinch of salt. Drain, cool and squeeze out water
Mix 1 cup reserved mushroom soaking liquid, 2 cups water, ¼ cup tamari soy sauce, ¼ cup sugar, and 2 Tbsp black bean sauces

Heat 2 Tbsp red bean curd and 2 Tbsp fermented bean curd in wok on high heat. Mash with back of spatula until broken into small bits. Add liquid seasoning mixture. Bring to boil for 2 minutes. Add shitakes, wood ears, lotus root, water chestnuts, arrowroot, ginkgo nuts, black hair seaweed. Cook for 4 minutes, until slightly softened. Add bean curd sticks, fried wheat gluten, fried tofu pockets, noodles. Toss well. Correct seasoning. Add Napa cabbage, snow peas. Serve immediately. Makes about 8 servings. "

From video by Veggietorials on YouTube.

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