The Ginkgo Biloba is the only surviving species of the Ginkgoales. Photo:

The Ginkgo Biloba is the only surviving species of the Ginkgoales. Photo:

Cranbrook man hoping to bring 200 million-year-old trees to Creston

The Ginkgo Biloba is the only surviving species of the Ginkgoales, and Dan Hicks has been on a mission since last summer to bring them back to this side of Canada.

A Cranbrook man is hoping to bring one of the oldest species of trees to Creston by May.

As noted by Yale Environment 360, ginkgo trees are “a living fossil that has been essentially unchanged for more than 200 million years.”

Dan Hicks, a member of the Cranbrook Garden Club, said that he came up with the idea last year to bring four ginkgo trees to the Kootenays because he wanted to “add some flash by introducing a living fossil.”

“They’re living fossils. There’s a handful of other species that made it from Cretaceous times. They’re serving as a promotional tree,” said Hicks.

According to Hicks, ginkgo trees — which are native to China — had been in the Kootenays during the age of the dinosaurs: fossilized ginkgo tree leaves dating from 163 million to 100 million years old have been found in Fernie and Sparwood. It was around seven million years ago when the trees disappeared from North America.

Peter Crane, the author of 2013’s “Ginkgo: The Tree That Time Forgot,” told Yale Environment 360 that the first ginkgo tree cultivated by humans was 1,000 years ago in China.

The Ginkgo Biloba is the only surviving species of the Ginkgoales, and Hicks has been on a mission since last summer to bring them back to this side of Canada.

Through Cranbrook’s Crop Top garden store, he placed an order on four ginkgo trees, $250 apiece. Two will remain in Cranbrook, while two will go to Creston.

Last week, the Town of Creston accepted Hicks’s donation pitch and his proposal to “encourage the preservation of an endangered tree,” and he hopes to have the two trees planted in Millennium Park by mid-May.

“The one cloud over this is that with this pandemic, it’s produced unusual demands for various items … it’s resulted in a higher demand in gardening,” he said. “There’s a possibility that it could be a competitive situation to get those trees. I’m optimistic.”

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Creston’s Lectric Avenue Electronics warns of online scammers after spike in hacks

In the past week, 10 to 12 customers have called in or stopped by the store requiring assistance after their gadgets were corrupted and bank accounts compromised

Robert Klein holds up one of his stone oil lamp creations. Photo: Aaron Hemens
Creston artist turns rocks into candles, vases and more

It was around 25 years ago when Robert Klein got the idea to create stone oil lamps from rocks, after a geologist presented him with two one-inch core samples

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
36 new cases of COVID-19, one death in Interior Health

The number of active cases in the region is at 366

Jesse Teindl (left) is grateful for support in his fundraiser for research of a genetic disease that prematurely claimed the lives of his father Tim (right) and uncle Craig Teindl. Photo: Submitted.
Kootenay community steps up for Skinny Genes fundraiser

Fundraiser auction for rare genetic disease raises more than $10,000 for Skinny Genes Foundation

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky, father of the Great One, dies at 82

Canada’s hockey dad had battled Parkinson’s disease and other health issues

Kelowna General Hospital (File photo)
Second death reported in Kelowna General Hospital COVID-19 outbreak

A total of seven cases have been identified at the hospital: six patients and one staff

Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne speaks in the B.C. legislature, March 4, 2021. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals, NDP sing in harmony on local election reforms

Bill regulates paid canvassers, allows people in condo buildings

(National Emergency Management Agency)
No tsunami risk to B.C. from powerful New Zealand earthquake: officials

An 8.1 magnitude earthquake shook the north of New Zealand Thursday morning

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
Pandemic stress, isolation key factors as to why Canadians turned to cannabis, alcohol

Study found that isolation played key role in Canadians’ substance use

Grand Forks’ Gary Smith stands in front of his Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster float. Photo: Submitted
Grand Forks’ Flying Spaghetti Monster leader still boiling over driver’s licence photo

Gary Smith, head of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster of B.C., said he has since spoken to lawyers

Most Read