Ginkgo - - Semi-mature and mature Ginkgo biloba

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Ginkgo biloba - Maidenhair Tree, Ducks Foot Tree

 

Family:

Ginkgoaceae

Origins:

South East China - extinct in the wild, cultivated around monasteries for centuries, rediscovered by Westerner in 1690.

Plant Type:

Deciduous tree

Size:

10 - 40m x 13 - 26m

Habit/ Form:

A slender erect tree while young aging to a conical dome, lower branches often pendulous. Commonly forms several competing leaders.

Leaves:

Fan shaped, to 95mm across, upper margin variously sinuate sometimes with a central cleft, lower margin entire, alternate on strong vigorous shoots, in 3 to 5 leafed fascicles (bundles) at the end of short lateral spurs, yellow green aging to mid green, turning yellow in autumn.

Flowers:

Dioecious, catkin-like, yellow, inconspicuous, usually hidden among the new spring growth.

Fruit:

Plumlike ovoid drupelike (really a seed covered by a fleshy outgrowth of the ovule) (20 - 30mm x 20 - 30mm) solitary or in pairs, pale green, turning dull yellow when ripe in autumn. The flesh is foul smelling - smells like vomit. The 20mm ovoid nut is ed

Bark / Trunk:

Young twigs pale golden brown with fine shedding bark and large ovoid scaly buds, older bark pale brown, becoming slightly corky. Twigs carry many spurs bearing crowded leaf scars - distinctive in winter outline.

Vigour / Longevity:

Slow growing, moderately slow in good conditions, long lived but can be unpredictable and die suddenly.

Environmental Requirements:

Sunny positions in an area protected from harsh winds. Prefers cool elevated areas.

Hardiness:

Cold hardy to -10°C, some pollution tolerance.

Soil / Drainage:

Best on deep fertile well drained soils, with a reliable water supply.

Pruning:

Grow vigorously in the early stages and establish a strong single trunk, remove any competing leaders (this is not always possible) these can split as the tree ages.

Watering:

Best growth on reliably moist soils, not drought tolerant, water in dry periods.

Fertilising:

Apply complete fertilisers in late winter till established

Pests / Diseases:

Trees in less than perfect conditions can suffer borer attack in warm areas.

Uses:

Shade tree, street tree, autumn colour contrast tree, avenue tree (if a grafted form) and foliage contrast tree.

 

 

© Text reproduced here with the kind permission of Tony Wilson and Barck Books.

 

 

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