Ginkgo: The Tree That Time Forgot
With wishes for resilience and longevity, like the ginkgo
We happened on an online tour by the campus botanist of the trees at Dartmouth College and learned that their ginkgo tree has the distinctive habit of dropping its leaves in the fall, all in one day.
As “the days dwindled down to a precious few” here at Spruce Point Inn, we knew how that ginkgo must feel. Each spring we unfurl new leaves along our branches, reaching out towards the sun, to the ocean and to a new season’s guests, coming up Grandview Ave.
As the summer broadens our reach it extends our shade, welcoming entire families into the seabreeze and sensory delights of Boothbay Harbor. Fall brings our “golden season” as a multitude of distinctive moments shaped by our hospitality lines our memory.
And then one day, it’s over. Everyone leaves at the same time. And the cycle begins again.
Those who have made a career of the study report that ginkgos are more than 200 million years old, virtually unchanged since dinosaurs roamed beneath their branches. They also say the ginkgo is one of the world’s most popular street trees. And here again we feel a connection, having just registered Readers’ Choice popularity from Conde Nast Traveler as one of the “Top Resorts in New England” – for the second year in a row. We also won the nod from Down East magazine readers as the “Best Hotel in Maine,” also for the second year in a row.
But like the places recognized as Tree Cities USA by The Arbor Day Foundation and USDA Forest Service, there are responsibilities that go with the awards. They need a Tree Board or Department, a Tree Care Ordinance, a Community Forestry Program with a supportive budget ($2 or more, per capita) and they must observe Arbor Day. The list sounds like the checklist we use to reopen the resort each year: we have the management team, our stringent set of standards, the budget required to ensure the highest quality in each aspect of our program, and – coincidentally enough — our annual opening day in the third week in May is the same as the date for Arbor Day celebrations in Maine!
So many people delight in ginkgos; and so many take delight, year after year, at Spruce Point.
Oh, and one last thing. Reading up on ginkgos we learned that traditional medicine uses the fruit and leaves of the ginkgo as an herbal memory enhancer. Did someone say, “Oceanside memories, made in Maine”?