Hiroshima tree sapling planted on bombing anniversary

By Andrea Ray | Aug 06, 2017
Photo by: Andrea Ray Matthew Monteiro at the formal dedication of the gingko sapling.

Rochester — One hundred and seventy trees survived the bombing of Hiroshima in 1945. Now a sapling from one of those trees has been planted in Rochester.

"Green is the color of peace...these trees teach us about resilience, tolerance and living in harmony with nature," said Rochester Historic District Commission member Matthew Monteiro, who organized the ceremony.

As part of Rochester's Arbor Day, the sapling received a formal dedication from Monteiro, as well as Rochester Historical Commission chair Laurene Gerrior.

The sapling was originally donated to the town of Rochester by former Town Administrator Mike McCue in 2015. When McCue left his role as Town Administrator in 2016, the planting of the sapling was delayed.

The sapling in Rochester is the sapling from a gingko baloba tree that is over 200 years old. The tree was located 3/4 of  a mile from the epicenter of the blast.

Each tree that survived the bombing is called a "hibakujumoku," which means "survivor tree." According to the City of Hiroshima, there are 170 trees that survived the blast, representing 32 different species.

Monteiro explained that the trees that survived only suffered damage aboveground, leaving their roots and underground stalk intact. The plants were able to eventually regrow; their saplings are sent around the world as "bearers of peace."




The mother tree of Rochester's sapling, directly after the Hiroshima blast in 1945. The tree is located in Shukkein Gardens in Hiroshima. (Courtesy of: ANT Hiroshima)
The appearance of the sapling's mother tree today. The tree leans because as the blast moved outward, the rush of air returning to the epicenter bent the tree. (Courtesy of: ANT Hiroshima)
"Gingko biloba seedling from Shukkein Garden, Hiroshima. 1,500 yards from 1945 atomic blast. Donated by Green Legacy Hiroshima, Mike McCue 2016." (Photo by: Andrea Ray)
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