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The Ginkgo tree (Ginkgo biloba) is a living fossil, its evolutionary history dates back about 250 million years. It survived the last ice age in southwestern China and was brought to Europe 1730. Since then this unique tree has spread globally due to its high tolerance to exhaust fumes and contaminated air. Its unusual appearance and famed, mystical healing powers have played an important role in art and culture for people worldwide. The wood of the Ginkgo tree is bright, light and rather soft - similar to that of conifers - and works very well. In Japan, the wood is traditionally made into kitchen appliances and utensils for the tea ceremony, but also furniture, shrines, Go boards, carvings and altars are made of it. The wood is yellow-brown and the sapwood is only a little brighter. Ginkgo wood is a rare find on the market as trees are not felled for timber but made only available through natural mortality.