November 2022 - Ginkgo
Common Name: Ginkgo Tree. Has been called the Maidenhair Tree due to the shape of the leaf
Botanical Name: Ginkgo biloba
Native Range: Native to China however utilized worldwide USDA Hardiness Zones 3 to 8
Spread: Variable spread
Form: Upright arching branches develop into an ornamental oval crown at maturity
Growth Rate: Slow to medium depending on upon water and fertilizer. Ginkgo tends to be columnar and slender when young.
Sun: Full sun
Soil: Very adaptable tree. Tolerates drought conditions, wet conditions, low pH, high pH, salt spray, urban conditions. Prefers rich moist soils.
Leaf Description: Distinctive fan-shaped leaf, triangular with a notch in the blade.
Fall Color: Yellow
Flower Description: Male trees have catkins that shed pollen in mid-spring. Female trees have smaller green ovules which, when pollinated, develop yellow-orange seeds in autumn
Fruit: Female tree will have a 2” ovule of a fruit that is edible, but has a rotten scent. Male cultivars are typically planted to avoid the fruit.
Bark Description: Gray-brow ridges with darker furrows which is described as “quite handsome.”
Wildlife Benefit: Nesting for birds
Tolerates: Urban conditions, pollution, clay soil, wet soil, drought, high pH, low pH, road salt, acidity, alkalinity
Possible Disease and Insect Problems: None serious
• Street or boulevard tree for tough locations
• Shade trees for parks, campuses, and residential environments
Where to be found on municipal property: There is a specimen Ginkgo Tree in Marquand Park in the eastern lawn area, a group of mature specimens in addition to a newly planted ginkgo are located at the cross street of Mercer and Alexander, on Alexander. There is also a line of Ginkgo’s on Prospect Ave adjacent to Riverside School.
• Estimated to have 190-220 million years of continuous growth. • The oldest living Ginkgo Tree is found in China at the Gu Guanyin Buddhist Temple and is more than 1400 years old
• Considered a sacred tree in China and Japan.
• Parts of the tree are used in traditional Chinese medicine. • The ginkgo is the only tree in its plant family, Ginkgoaceae.
• The tree is the sole surviving plant of the Hiroshima bombing of 1945
• The bark secretes sap that is thought to be fire retardant.
• Leaves are sewn and used as bookmarks in Japan and are known to protect books from insects.
• Seeds of the ginkgo tree are used in traditional Chinese and Japanese cooking.
• According to legend, Confucius spent many hours each day under a ginkgo tree reading, writing, and thinking.
• Leaves tend to drop all at once in the fall.
• Because of its deep roots and ability to withstand strong winds and adverse weather, the ginkgo is considered a good street tree choice.
• Due to their tolerance of urban conditions, Ginkgo trees will be a tree planted along Witherspoon Street
Dirr, Michael A., Manual of Woody Landscape Plants, Their Identification, Ornamental Characteristics, Culture, Propagation and Uses, 5th Edition, Stipes Publishing L.L.C., 1998.