“Spring Thaw” With Oberlin's Hiroshima Trees

On Friday, April 14, Oberlin College Professor of Japanese Ann Sherif organized an inspiring visit for Oberlin students and faculty with the rapidly growing tree saplings provided to Oberlin College and Oberlin Shansi by our new partner Green Legacy Hiroshima. These ginkgo, aogiri (firmiana simplex, or Chinese parasol tree), and wisteria saplings have grown from seeds of trees that survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. They are thriving in the Oberlin Science Center courtyard, and will be transferred to Tappan Square in the coming year.

Professor Sherif got us started by introducing Green Legacy’s work to preserve Hiroshima’s survivor trees and distribute their seeds in more than 25 different countries. Then Oberlin College Professor of Biology Mary Garvin took us out to the courtyard to visit with the saplings. She provided some background on the biology of these remarkable trees, noting the ginkgo’s genetic robustness that has helped it survive so long as a species. Ohio winters should prove no challenge for these Hiroshima ginkgos!

Oberlin College Professor Mary Garvin discusses Green Legacy Hiroshima tree saplings in the Science Center courtyard.

Saplings thriving in the Science Center soil.

Oberlin students and faculty after visiting the Hiroshima trees.

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