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In the world of plants, secular trees are those plants that are over one hundred years old. Among the species that live the longest are the Ginko biloba, a native of China and capable of reaching a thousand years old, the Chestnut, very common in Italy too, the Sequoia, born in California and more resistant to time than even the Ginko, the Mexican Taxodium and the Olive. Surely these specimens of enormous dimensions and with such particular characteristics always arouse great fascination, if only we think of how many events have been witnesses. Unfortunately, however, many today ancient trees they are destined to disappear due to the invasive action of man, which destroys them to make room for civil and residential buildings or to obtain the precious timber, impoverishing more and more forests and areas rich in naturalistic interest. Precisely for this reason, many regions and environmental protection bodies, even at the world level, are actively engaging with suitable policies in order to avert these events. It is important to remember that ancient trees they have the advantage, in addition to that of beautifying and enriching the environment, of producing a greater quantity of CO2 due to their slow growth process, and consequently they prove to be a precious source for the ecological balance, both at the level of microenvironment and macro, which directly affects human health. Below we will examine three of the most beautiful trees of this branch, namely the Sequoia, Olive and Ginko biloba, to get to know them better and learn to take care of them in the most correct way possible.
The Sequoia, whose scientific name is Sequoia sempervirens, belongs to the Cupressaceae, and was born in California. The characteristic that distinguishes it is the important height, which reaches over one hundred and twenty meters, thus making it end up in the first place of the tallest trees. The bark of these trees is thick and in shades of red, while the foliage is pyramidal in shape. The climate suitable for its cultivation is wet and rainy, since it needs a large quantity of water resources. The perfect soil will therefore be well drained and with a clayey tendency. Surely it should be planted in a large place and away from the polluting agents of industries and vehicle exhausts. It is generally used to embellish entrances of large properties or avenues. Although it is a resistant and leathery tree, it must be kept away from cold and winter frosts as soon as it is planted. The season for planting is spring, preferably at the beginning of April, taking care to keep the seeds in the greenhouse or in the shade for two consecutive winters. Once they are then placed at full ground, you will notice a rapid and luxuriant growth of the plant, with a rhythm of about one and a half meters a year for the first twenty-five years of life, and reaching thirty meters after another twenty years. The waterings must be regular and constant throughout the year, at least once a week if you live in a rather dry and warm area. The diseases to which greater attention must be paid are precisely those linked to the lack of water, which causes Poria mushrooms or the more serious cancers of the wood to proliferate.
The most widespread species in Italy of Olivo is the one that comes from Palestine, which in our country has found great success for its beauty and richness in food production, especially in Calabria, Sicily, Abruzzo and Campania, thanks to their dry and weak climate of precipitation. The foliage is luxuriant and the smooth and leathery stem; both components are constantly growing over time. The Olive tree is a very rough plant, and finds its perfect habitat in a warm, arid area with dry soil and enriched with pebbles and gravel, while it does not tolerate humidity and abundant rain, while resisting rather cold weather. . Sowing should take place in late autumn, adding a mixture of wood ash, manure and compost to the earth, pushing the seed to a depth of about six or seven centimeters. After the first year of growth, it is good to regularly prune the foliage and the dry ends of the branches, so as to ventilate the plant and favor the process of replacing the leaves and shoots. The ideal time for pruning is the beginning of spring, when there is no more danger of frost. This plant does not need an excessive amount of water, so a watering session in cold seasons and a weekly one in hot ones will be sufficient. The proliferation of mushrooms must be avoided by ensuring that there are no water stagnations, especially in the area adjacent to the roots.
Old trees: Ginkgo biloba
The plant belongs to the Ginkgoaceae family, originating from China and is also called the Fan Tree, due to the two-lobed shape of its leaves. The Ginkgo generally does not exceed twenty-five or thirty meters, and as it grows the hair assumes a pyramidal shape. Despite its large size, it does not require special care and attention, since it adapts independently to the climatic conditions in which it is found. It is good, however, to increase the nutrient supply of the soil by adding manure and organic compost rich in nitrogen and potassium, to promote growth and proliferation, especially if it has been recently planted. The ideal soil is moist, drained and clayey, with exposure to both sun and half shade. The tree lends itself to the ornamental use of gardens, parks and avenues, but to avoid an apical withering of the foliage, it will be necessary to regularly prune all the springs. With this arrangement, the Ginkgo will bring to the area where the characteristic vertical dimension is planted. The waterings are limited to one per month in winter and one every fifteen days with the hottest temperatures. For preventive purposes, it is useful to carry out a general pest control every three years.