Native to China, the Ginkgo biloba tree is the only extant species of the division Ginkgophyta used for various purposes in traditional medicine, food industry, and landscaping. It is a pyramid-shaped tree, with relatively simple bright green, fan-shaped leaves 2-3 inches long and almost twice as much broad. The leathery leaves have a distinct appearance akin to the leaflets of the maidenhair fern. The leaves are supported by short, spur-like but significantly thickened shoots. They have two parallel veins that run from the point of leaf attachment to the edges. The leaves have a central notch that divides them into two lobes, hence the name biloba (double-lobed). During fall, the green color of the leaves turns into an attractive yellow one. Its naked seeds are tan in color and assume a plum shape, with a characteristically unpleasant smell. The tree is tolerant of heat, air pollution, and soil heat and can last a millennium or longer. A mature ginkgo can attain a height of 25-50 feet and a spread of 25-35 feet. It has a sparingly branched trunk with a 2.5-meter diameter. The usually cracked bark is gray, with older trees having deep furrows and a corky texture. Though it can be found in some other Hardiness zones, the ginkgo grows well in Hardiness Zones 3-8. Soil requirements The tree thrives in a variety of soils, as long as they are well-drained. Ideally, sandy soil is the best for the tree, though it also fairs well in heavy clay, loam, or light soil. It can also tolerate both acidic and alkaline properties of soil. The tree does well even without fertilizer. During the tree’s first 3-5 years, the soil should be moist, after which the tree develops drought tolerance. Ginkgo trees perform poorly in the shade and must receive full sun to realize optimal growth. Growth rate The tree grows relatively slowly, especially during its initial growth stages. In one growing season, it can add 12-24 inches in height. The tree is planted for ornamental and shade purposes. The trees provide a wide canopy that blocks sunlight while its yellow fall leaves add visual interest and beauty to landscaping.
Latin Name- Maidenhair Hardy Planting- 3-8 Mature Height-50-80 Width-30-40 Sun or Shade- Partial Shade
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