Community / Tree planting marks Hiroshima bombing anniversary

Planting a gingko tree at Lerwick Flower Park this morning, from left to right: Shetland Amenity Trust vice-chair Alison Moncrieff, Paul Goddard, SAT's woodlands team leader, SIC convener Malcolm Bell and the council's corporate services director Christine Ferguson. Photo: SIC

A GINKGO tree was planted in Lerwick Flower Park this morning (Friday) to mark the 76th anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing.

The gingko biloba seedling has been grown locally from seeds of trees that survived the atomic blast in Hiroshima on 6 August 1945.

Despite their extreme damage, six gingko trees about a mile from the bomb site survived to produce seeds which have been gathered and circulated widely as a message of peace through the international Mayors for Peace initiative.


Shetland is a ‘member city’ of the Mayors for Peace initiative which aims to attain lasting world peace through the abolition of nuclear weapons, and finding solutions to global problems such as starvation and poverty, the plight of refugees, human rights abuses, and environmental degradation.

Shetland Amenity Trust staff nurtured the gingko seeds, which were initially grown in a greenhouse before being brought on outdoors. Some seedlings have already been planted out in other locations in Shetland, including at some local schools, with other sites still being considered.


It is hoped that the story of the trees will be an educational resource to stimulate discussions about conflict and peace.

Plans to mark the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima last year were postponed due to the Covid pandemic.

A gingko tree sapling has also recently been planted beside Shetland Library, in the grounds of the former St Ringan’s church, ahead of the planned move of the council chamber from the Town Hall next year.

Convener Malcolm Bell said: “The seeds of the gingko trees in Hiroshima are a powerful symbol of hope, survival and resilience. They serve as a constant reminder of the need for meaningful dialogue and political discourse as a prerequisite to achieving lasting peace between nations.”