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Ginkgo Tree Ginkgo biloba

Growing Ginkgo Trees: Tips at a Glance

Ginkgo trees (Ginkgo biloba) are hardy, long-lived trees with distinctive fan-shaped foliage that turns a brilliant yellow in autumn before performing a party trick: ginkgo's leaves drop en masse on a single day. Slow to grow but grand in size at maturity, ginkgo trees are best treated as focal points in a landscape.

  • Type Deciduous tree
  • Oldest on Record 1,000+ years
  • USDA Zones 3-9
  • Light Sun or light shade
  • Crown Varies by age
  • Location Specimen
  • Other Uses City streets
  • Design Tip Shade tree
  • Peak Season Autumn color

Ginkgo Tree: A Field Guide

Ginkgo trees are prized for their tough, hardy natures; a common street tree, it will develop beautiful gold color in autumn and then suddenly drop all its fan-shaped leaves on one day (thanks to a quirk in the manner in which its leaf stems develop).

A ginkgo tree’s looks can be deceptive: a young tree may look gangly, tall, and awkward. But come back in a hundred years—and it will be worth the wait—to see a mature, 100-foot-tall majestic tree with a graceful canopy that will cast shade beneath it in a diameter of up to 60 feet.

Is a ginkgo tree the right choice for your landscape? If you have a small garden, consider giving it pride of place as a focal point and allow it plenty of room to grow and spread its twisty, distinctive branches.

There is only a single species of Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) but many interesting cultivars. Some of our favorites include ‘Autumn Gold’ (widely sold in nurseries, it was introduced in 1955); ‘Fairmount, with a dense crown shaped like a pyramid, and ‘Woodstock’, known for having a beautifully symmetrical oval crown.

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Planting, Care & Design of Ginkgo Trees

More About Ginkgo Trees