Ginkgo Biloba Bites the Clay

When you first notice a Ginkgo tree in the Fall, you stop in your tracks and marvel at the brilliant golden leaves reaching for the sky. We needed a tree in our front yard. Maples were considered (everyone has them); Oaks were momentarily thought of (most grow too slowly); a Hawthorn would have been a good choice. I chose a dogwood and failed to consider the intense afternoon sun. A dogwood is born for the edge of the woods – not the sunny front yard. Within the first summer – the leaves turned rusty, dropped, and the dogwood was history. A Ginkgo was always in the back of my mind, so I did some research. They are strong and resistant to normal droughts once established. They are moderate growers and a specimen tree year round. Very few people have Ginkgos as they are not found at box stores. The better nurseries have them but they are relatively expensive. Let’s look at a mature Ginkgo in the Fall…

A mature Ginkgo! Some in China are 2,500 years old and 150 feet tall. It is the only member of its species unlike Oaks and Maples which have dozens of varieties.

The leaves are unique – fan shaped and most have a cleft in the center of the outer edge. The leaves grow in bunches and are lime-green in Spring and Summer.

The fan-shaped leaf and fruit on the female tree. Do NOT buy a female tree as the dropped fruit smells like rancid butter. If you don’t know the sex of the tree – stay away.

So I plunged and bought a 2 1/2 inch truck diameter Ginkgo biloba (male) that was about 12 feet high and due to the size of the root ball (300+ pounds!), I decided to plunge further in debt and have Twin Branch nursery deliver and install the tree. I watched the three installers carefully and they assured me that in 14 years they had planted over a thousand large trees and they knew what they were doing.

The massive root ball was a plus and delivery was in a covered truck to prevent leaf and stem damage.

The hole had to be dug twice the width of the root ball but not deeper than the ball to make sure roots are not smothered.

Note the clay, rocks, and defeated dogwood to the bottom right.
Fertilizer and a soil amendment is added. The burlap will be loosened and pealed back.
The Ginkgo is properly positioned and three stakes are used to hold the tree in place through the winter. The first week requires daily 5-minute watering and every other day during the summer.
The tree is now an integral part of the landscape and will eventually provide late afternoon shade to the Hosta garden.
Ginkgo leaves add a pleasant landscaping touch.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close