Seedling grown from atomic bomb survivor tree planted at San Diego Botanic Garden

San Diego Botanic Garden staff planting the Gingko tree.
(San Diego Botanic Garden)

On Saturday, Aug. 5, San Diego Botanic Garden will join in partnership and unity with Green Legacy Hiroshima (GLH) Initiative to dedicate a newly planted ginkgo tree that descended from a mother tree that survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan more than 70 years ago.

The Survivor Tree Commemoration will take place at the garden on Saturday, Aug. 5 at 4:15 p.m., corresponding to the exact time in Pacific Standard Time that the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945. The ceremonial event will also include guest speakers as well as a community wish-writing activity for attendees to participate in.

The result of a multiyear partnership with GLH, San Diego Botanic Garden received its ginkgo as a seedling from Shukkeien garden in Japan in 2020, and was recently planted at SDBG in June of 2023.

According to a news release, GLH is a global campaign aimed at spreading the universal messages of caution and hope that the unique survivor trees of Hiroshima represent. Known in Japanese as “Hibakujumoku”, these survivor trees bring awareness to the dangers of arms of mass destruction as well as the sacred character of humankind and the resilience of nature.

Currently, seeds and saplings from the A-bombed trees are growing in more than 40 countries in a sustained, long-term campaign, joining other efforts to establish a nuclear-free and more ecological planet.

“The Hibakujumoku have an amazing ability to simultaneously commemorate the devastation wrought by the bombing of Hiroshima and instill a profound sense of hope in the future. If trees can survive such an event, and their progeny can be shared across the world, there’s clearly so much we can do together to make the world a better place for people and plants,” said SDBG President and CEO Ari Novy, in a news release. “We are honored to be part of this initiative and invite the community to join us in commemorating the history, legacy, and symbol of peace that this beautiful tree represents.”

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