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The Ginkgo Tree


Knox College Library

2 E. South Street

Galesburg, IL 61401



Annual Register's on a shelf in Seymour Library.

The ginkgo tree in front of Seymour Library was most probably planted by John Van Ness Standish (1825-1919) whose 19th century home stood roughly between the library and the Beta Theta Pi house.

John Van Ness Standish 

Standish was a professor of mathematics and practical astronomy. He came to Galesburg in 1854 to help establish Lombard College and later became a generous benefactor of Knox College. While education was his career, trees were his passion. He had a statewide reputation as an arborist and was responsible for planting the Lombard College campus and Western Illinois University. Unquestionably, he was consulted in landscaping matters for the Knox College campus as well. Locally his name is most familiar in association with the park named in his honor, Standish Park Arboretum. This park, adjacent to the Knox County Courthouse, just north of the Knox College campus, was originally known as an arboretum, and early on it contained many specimen plantings; it recently regained its designation as an arboretum.

This photo shows the ginkgo tree, just behind and to the left of the large tree in near the center of the photo, at about the time the library construction was completed in 1928.

The gingko tree in 1928

By 1936 the ginkgo tree and other library landscaping had filled out.

The gingko tree in 1936

In the 1950s the ginkgo tree is possibly 30 feet tall.

The gingko tree in the 1950s

In 2003 the ginkgo is approaching its full height.

The gingko tree in 2003

The gingko tree in 2006If the weather is right and there is a sudden drop in temperature, all the leaves will fall from the ginkgo tree in one day. The tree positively rains leaves. The photo to the right shows the leaf drop from a single day in 2006.

Recent leaf days:

2022 Oct. 20
2021 Nov. 18
2020 Nov. 2
2019 Oct. 31
2018 Nov. 8
2017 Nov. 10
2016 Nov. 20
2015 Nov. 17
2014 Nov. 1
2013 Nov. 12
2012 Oct. 31
2011 Nov. 12
2010 Nov. 6
2009 Nov. 2
2005 Nov. 16
2004 Nov. 12
2003 Nov. 8
2002 Nov. 1
2001 Nov. 5
2000 Nov. 15
1999 Nov. 3

Knox College

Printed on Thursday, April 25, 2024