The Story Behind the Gingko Tree

This week I highlight the story of Ellen Leahy and her photo of a Gingko tree. She is one of the eight winners of the Best Onondaga County Tree Photo Challenge, an interactive art project that asked Onondaga County residents to go into nature, find the most beautiful trees in our county, and send their suggestions to me with a photo.

Describe yourself: name, age, location, what do you do for a living and what are some of your hobbies? Hello, I am a ladylike lady who is also a bit feral, living in the old veterinarian’s house in Skaneateles. I like to wonder.

Why did you choose to photograph this particular tree?

I am particularly drawn to gingko trees because their beauty and hardiness. This gingko in particular is rather tall. Gingkos are ancient!

What time of the year was it? It was in the fall - every Fall I watch this tree change from green to yellow.

What is the exact location of this tree? The tree is on the eastern side of the historic Kreb’s Restaurant building on Route 20 in Skaneateles.

How did you find out about this challenge? I think Facebook

The making of the 'Gingko Tree'     

I chose this tree because I was attracted by its shape and color and because I was intrigued by its unique name. After doing some research I realized why the Gingko tree is such a fascinating species. Let me share a couple of facts with you:

"Botanical.com recognizes Ginkgo biloba as 'the oldest living tree on the planet that's been used safely for over 3000 years,' noting that this relic from dinosaur times 'was nearly wiped out during the Ice Age everywhere except in China.' " "Another notable ginkgo tree fact - the bark and leaves of the plant are believed to secrete a sap which acts as a fire retardant. One of the useful functions of ginkgo biloba is thus as a natural means of protection against fires."

Read more:

  Below you will see the development of this acrylic painting.

The finished Gingko tree from Skaneateles, NY was painted with Golden acrylic on a 24x18" gallery wrap canvas during the month of Febrary, 2015.

Gingko tree, 24x18" acrylic on canvas by Maria Rizzo, 2015.

Gingko tree, 24x18" acrylic on canvas by Maria Rizzo, 2015.