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TREES & Plants

Ginkgo

Ginkgo is a very pest resistant tree.  It has interesting fan-shaped leaves that turn vivid yellow in fall.  Only male trees should be purchased as the females produce fruit that has a potent odor.

Botanical name: 
Ginkgo biloba
All Common Names: 
Ginkgo, Maidenhair Tree
Family (English): 
Ginkgo
Family (Botanic): 
Ginkgoaceae
Tree or Plant Type: 
  • Tree
Foliage: 
  • Deciduous (foliage falls off)
Native Locale: 
  • Non-native
Hardiness Zones: 
  • Zone 4
  • Zone 5
  • Zone 6
  • Zone 7
  • Zone 8
Growth Rate: 
  • Slow
  • Medium
Light Exposure: 
  • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
Tolerances: 
  • Occasional drought
  • Alkaline soil
  • Clay soil
  • Road salt
Soil Preference: 
  • Moist, well-drained soil
Flower Color & Fragrance: 
  • Inconspicuous
Size Range: 
  • Large tree (more than 40 feet)
Shape or Form: 
  • Pyramidal
  • Spreading
  • Upright
Landscape Uses: 
  • Specimen
  • Shade
  • Parkway/street
Time of Year: 
  • Early summer
  • Mid summer
  • Late summer
  • Early fall
  • Mid fall
More Information: 

Size and Form

50 to 80 feet high and 30 to 40 feet wide; mature form varies, some specimens are upright while others are more spreading

Tree & Plant Care

Realtively low maintenace
Prune in spring

Disease, pests, and problems

No serious pests

Disease, pest, and problem resistance

Tolerates salt, heat, drought, alkaline soil

Native geographic location and habitat

Native to China

Bark color and texture 

The bark is typically light gray, with shallow ridges and furrows.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture

Simple,alternate, fan-shaped leaves in clusters of 3 to 5 on spurs or single on long shoots; usually notched at the tip;  2 to 3 inches long

Flower arrangement, shape, and size

Inconspicuous, male and female flowers on separate trees

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions

Not a true fruit, but a seed with a fleshy covering; produced only on female trees; apricot colored with a silvery cast; messy and they produce a strong odor
Buy male cultivars only

Cultivars and their differences 

Autumn Gold (Ginkgo biloba ‘Autumn Gold’):  non-fruiting male with uniform conical habit becoming broader with age.  Outstanding yellow color in autumn.

Magyar  (Ginkgo biloba ‘Magyar’):  narrow, non-fruiting male with upright, ascending branching.

Princeton Sentry  (Ginkgo biloba ‘Princeton Sentry’):   non-fruiting male form; assumes an upright, nearly columnar form that tapers to a point.