I would venture to say that gingkos have been present in the US, although
perhaps not literally 'under cultivation', for somewhat longer than even
Dirr's 1787. Washington State is home to a petrified gingko forest near
Vantage on the Columbia River and I managed to unearth a gingko leaf fossile
this summer in north central Washington.........I think the paleobotanist said
it dated back some 14 million years.
Pam - gardengal
Bob Kirk wrote:
> Appears not to have been posted a couple weeks ago:
>> I really don't have time to mess with this, and various searches a few
> days back proved fruitless, but re the unchallenged assertion that Ginkgo
> has only been in the USA since (?) 1913:
> Michael Dirr lists this as introduced to cultivation in 1787, which
> per style [of his Manual of Woody Landscape Plants] would be the earliest
> recorded Western cultivation, but 1913 seems >awfully< late for something
> that's been around that long to have reached the US.
> Besides, a passage sticks in my mind - Oliver Wendell Holmes (I don't
> know whether the father (1809-94) or son (1841-1935) proposing to his
> future wife on (?) Boston Commons: "Will you take the Long Walk with me?"
> And failing correction I believe that was in the non-metaphorical sense an
> avenue of ginkgo trees which must thus by sometime around the mid-1800's
> have been sufficiently mature to be a named landscape feature.
>> "Oh, yes, yes, I will!" Readers may now either swoon
> or point out that these were elm trees, chestnuts etc.