Maidenhair Tree - 'Ginkgo biloba'Ginkgo biloba is the oldest known species of tree on earth. Having once flourished across the North American continent until approximately 7 million years ago, fossil records show the ginkgo species to be nearly 270 million years old. As climatic shifts caused from space impact and ice age changed the planet, ginkgo populations became limited to eastern China. If not for cultivation by Buddhist monks, the ginkgo may have perished. The monks cultivated the ginkgo at their temples for more than 1,500 years. Near 800 AD the Buddhist monks brought the ginkgo to Japan, and by 1691, a German, Engelbert Kaempfer, found the ginkgo in Japan and brought seeds back to Europe. The ginkgo has now been distributed all over the world again. The ginkgo makes a beautiful shade tree and is a slow growing deciduous tree. The ginkgo reproduces with both a male and female tree. Its fall foliage is a wonderful butternut yellow and tends to drop all at once within 48 hours when the time comes in fall. The ginkgo grows rather slowly and can reach a height of 10 to 15 feet over ten years. Some specimens claim to be over 2500 years old and have reached a height of 100 feet. The ginkgo is free of pests and air pollutant tolerable, making it an excellent tree for public areas. So resilient and adaptable is the ginkgo that some are said to have survived the atomic bomb blast in Hiroshima. The tree transplants easily and fall color alone is sufficient reason to plant the ginkgo tree.
||Autumn Gold, Fairmount, Fastigiata, Lakeview, Mayfield, Magyar, Palo Alto, Princeton Sentry, Pendula, Santa Cruz, Saratoga, Shangri-la|
||Deciduous Ornamental & Shade Tree|
||Leaves are alternate, simple, in clusters of 3 to 5 on spurs or alternate on long shoots, fan shaped, dichotomously veined, more or less incised or divided at the broad summit, 2 to 3 inches long, 2 to 3 inches wide and bright green during the spring and summer. Leaves turn a wonderful butter yellow in the fall and all drop within a 48 hour time window.|
||50 to 80 feet in height with a tremendously variable spread ranging from 30 to 40 feet depending on the cultivar.|
||Zone 3 to 8. For an idea of your plant zone please visit the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map.|
||Usually pyramidal in outline when young; in old age often becoming wide spreading with large, massive, picturesque branches; it is quite difficult to adequately describe the habit of this tree due to the tremendous variation in plants grown from seed; the male tree is supposedly more upright than the pistillate form.|
||Slow to medium.|
||Dioecious, male flowers (green) are borne on the short shoots in cylindrical, 1 inch catkins during March-April; the female on a 2 inch long pedicel bearing 1 or 2 greenish ovules. Female flowers eventually produce troublesome seeds which are coated with butyric acid that smells of rancid eggs or vomit.|
|Diseases & Insects:
||Extremely free of pests. It's almost as if this tree has outlived any diseases or insect problems from the distant past.|
||Excellent city tree, public areas, perhaps too large for street use buit is used extensively for this purpose; a well developed Ginkgo is an impressive sight; often looks out of place in the small residential landscape because of unique foliage and winter habit; tends to be somewhat gaunt and open in youth but with time becomes one of the most spectacular of all trees; fall color alone is sufficient reason to plant this tree.|
||Prefers sandy, deep, moderately moist soil but grows in almost any situation; very pH adaptable; displays good soil salt tolerance.|
||Water regularly after initial planting and prune in spring as necessary to maintain form and desired shape.|
||Fertilize an area three times the canopy spread of the tree 1 to 2 times a year with a 10-10-10 fertilizer. Only fertilize an established tree.
||Dig a hole three times the diameter of the root system, with a depth no deeper than the original soil line on trunk. Break up the soil to the finest consistency possible. Place plant in hole and fill, compacting the fill dirt. Water the plant heavily to seal soil around the roots and remove air pockets. Water well, and remember to water regularly until they have started to grow.