As Osmanthus becomes yesterday, ginkgo rises to the scene, putting the entire city of Hangzhou in a suit of glistening gold armor.
Wandering on the streets of Hangzhou, you will find many of the ginkgo leaves turning yellow already. Indeed, it is the time when autumn reaches its crescendo. If the idea is to record the best image of the season, you can walk up to a ginkgo and capture the moment when autumn winds touch the branches, triggering a downpour of golden leaves.
There are a great number of spots for ginkgo viewing in Hangzhou’s scenic areas. Of them, the most recommended is the old ginkgo situated in Wuyun Mountain. Not only is it the oldest tree in Yunqi, it is also the longest-living tree in downtown Hangzhou. With 1,400 years of history, it is fittingly lauded as the No.1 old tree in Hangzhou.
Every year from mid-November to December, the leaves of the old ginkgo will be painted into an eye-catching gold. The canopy spans 20 meters from north to south, while the fallen leaves dress up the earth in an astonishing golden hue. Left unswept, the leaves will stay on the ground for both viewing and frame-taking.
To find the old ginkgo, you need to take an uphill path following the Yunqi Bamboo Trail and turn at a dozen bends along the way. When you sit under its canopy, the color of autumn dominated by green and gold will burst into your eyes, casting everything out but comfort.
There is also the Gushan Mountain by the West Lake. To get there, you need to walk a few steps on the trail next to the Lu Xun statue for two to three minutes, then you will see a flat slope with a dozen ginkgo trees on it. Although it is a bit remote, it is quiet and therefore the right place for sightseeing and zoning out.
If lively air is what you prefer, ginkgo trees on the side of Zhaohui Park in the downtown area stands as a good option. A huge crowd will gather there every year, taking photos or taking a walk.
The extraordinary thing about ginkgo is the bright gold color it possesses, probably the result of its slow-growing pace, a color that best reflects the nature of autumn. The fan-shaped leaves make it easy to distinguish ginkgo from other types of trees, and the wavy edges are just like petals, hence the name “golden roses in autumn”.