Common Name : Ginkgo
Scientific Name : Ginkgo biloba
Zone : 3 to 8
Height : 50 to 80 feet
Width : 30 to 40 feet
Easily grown in average, medium moisture soil in full sun. Prefers moist, sandy, well-drained soils. Tolerant of a wide range of soil conditions, including both alkaline and acidic soils and compacted soils. Also tolerant of saline conditions, air pollution and heat. Adapts well to most urban environments.
Ginkgo is a deciduous conifer (a true gymnosperm) that features distinctive, two-lobed, somewhat leathery, fan-shaped leaves with diverging (almost parallel) veins. Ginkgo is the only surviving member of a group of ancient plants believed to have inhabited the earth up to 150 million years ago. Ginkgos are dioecious (separate male and female trees). Male flowers are in greenish catkins which appear in spring. Female flowers are less conspicuous. Female trees are considered to be undesirable because they produce seeds encased in fleshy, fruit-like coverings which, at maturity in autumn, are messy and emit a noxious, foul odor upon falling to the ground and splitting open. As a result, nurseries today generally sell only male cultivars which are “fruitless”. Typically grows to 50-80′ tall with a broad-spreading habit at maturity. Leaves turn a uniform golden yellow in autumn (spectacular when backlit by early morning or late afternoon sun) and persist for several weeks. When the leaves do drop, they drop rapidly, forming a golden carpet around the tree. Sometimes commonly called maidenhair tree in reference to the resemblance of the fan-shaped leaves to maidenhair fern leaflets (pinnae).
No serious insect or disease problems. Usually slow growing, with initial growth being somewhat sparse.
Excellent selection for a variety of uses, including lawn tree, street tree or shade tree. Also effective in city parks or near commercial buildings.