Ginkgo

Ginkgo

Ginkgo trees can be grown in your own yard fairly easy. They are popular park trees as they get about 100 feet tall and spread to about 20 feet. It is also known as the Maidenhair tree.

Plant male saplings in well drained soil, spaced about 20-30 feet apart. Before the plantation of Ginkgo, choose a proper location that receives partly to full sunlight. For growing Ginkgo plants, prepare the soil by deep ploughing during the spring season. The soil can be supplemented with organic manures and farmyard compost. Once you complete soil preparation, you can purchase the Ginkgo plantlets. In order to avoid smelly fragrances of fruits, you can opt for male Ginkgo plant. Male Ginkgo plantlets are commercially available as cultivars, which are propagated by grafting from a matured male trees

Stake young trees so they will grow straight.

Water tree on a regular basis, until it is at least 20 feet tall.

Watch your ginkgo become a stately tree at about a rate of 2 feet per year. Allow the Ginkgo biloba plants to establish properly for the first two years. From the third year, you can harvest Ginkgo leaves during the fall for the medicinal uses. You can prune the spreading leaves during spring season to create a pyramidal shape. While doing so, make sure that you don't disturb the plant physiology by excessive pruning.

Important Things to remember

1. Soil Selection —the Gingko can grow in nearly any soil type as it can withstand extreme pH ranges. The only consideration is that the soil should be well drained. Remember that:

  • Soils that have standing water could severely hamper the root development.
  • Loamy or slightly sandy soils are recommended for fast-growing Ginkgo trees.
  • Ginkgos can grow in compacted soils also.
  • They can survive short periods of drought but not flooding.

2. Planting Basics — Ginkgo transplants are easily available at most garden shops and botanical nurseries.

  • You should use the male or the grafted seed variety, i.e. the non-fruiting type because the fruit has a pungent odor.
  • Using seeds is seldom recommended, as they are expensive and need to be potted before being shifted to the garden.
  • Ideally, planting should be done in the spring or early fall.

 3. Sunlight Consideration —the garden spot chosen for planting the Ginkgo should receive a few hours of bright sunlight, every day.

  • Partially-shaded areas are not a problem but they could slow the tree’s growth.
  • Ensure that smaller plants are not planted near the Ginkgo tree—it grows to enormous heights, completely cutting-off the sunlight for surrounding shrubs.

4. Fertilizer Requirement —it needs minimal fertilization, i.e. just about twice a year.

  • Only NPK fertilizers, fertilizers having basic elements like nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium are needed.
  • No specific micronutrient-based fertilizer or compost is needed.
  • Ensure that you don’t mulch around the bark. Slight mulching around the trunk, at the beginning of each season is sufficient.

5. Check Ginkgo Growth Pattern

  • Initially, most Ginkgo trees grow very slowly.
  • They take nearly 10 years to gain the first 20 feet.
  • Some Ginkgo trees are naturally prone to developing small climbers—this should not be interpreted as odd growth pattern.
  • Young trees may have a slightly crooked development. Don’t worry—most Gingko trees sort out their shape as they age.

Stinky Fruit":

Female plants are wider-spreading than the males. Only male plants should be used as the female produces foul smelling fruit in late autumn. The only way to select a male plant is to purchase a named cultivar including ‘Autumn Gold’, ‘ Fastigiata’, ‘Princeton Sentry’, and ‘Lakeview’ because there is no reliable way to select a male plant from a seedling until it fruits. It could take as long as 20 years or more for Ginkgo to fruit.

In Depth:

Ginkgo may grow extremely slow for several years after planting, but will then pick up and grow at a moderate rate, particularly if it receives an adequate supply of water and some fertilizer. But do not overwater or plant in a poorly-drained area.

Be sure to keep turf several feet away from the trunk to help trees become established. Very tolerant of urban soils and pollution, Ginkgo could be used more in USDA hardiness zone 7 but is not recommended in central and southern Texas or Oklahoma due to summer heat. Adapted for use as a street tree, even in confined soil spaces. Some early pruning to form one central leader is essential.

Ginkgo Care Instructions

1. Pests/Infections — Ginkgos have no known vulnerability to any pest, fungal or viral infection, or bacterial diseases.

  • Ginkgo trees have very deep roots. The large root system could develop the occasional infection.
  • The most common root infection is caused by Mycorrhizae (called VAM infection). However, rarely will a Ginkgo tree show any major effects of this infection.
  • A seasonal dose of some organic fertilizer rich in phosphorus can eliminate this infection.
  • You don’t need seasonal use of herbicides or insecticides.

2. Ginkgo Pruning Basics

Ginkgo trees need minimal pruning, i.e. rarely during the young growing stages or if you want to landscape their branches.

  • Pruning time—young trees can be pruned during the spring season to modify their shape.
  • Pruning among older trees is limited to removing the leave clusters.

Tips & Warnings

  • The gingko tree looks odd when young and needs to be staked, but will grow into a very stately tree with age.
  • The ginkgo tree is deciduous and will lose its leaves in the fall.
  • The ginkgo tree is deciduous. Male and female flowers appear on different trees.
  • As the ginkgo gets older it is self sufficient and is resistant to insects and disease.
  • The ginkgo is used in healing but only commercial preparation should be used for this herb.
  • Female trees have bad smelling fruit, so only grow male trees.

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