Ginkgo is nearly pest-free and is resistant to storm
damage. Young trees are often very open but they fill in to
form a denser canopy as they mature. It makes a durable street tree
where there is enough overhead space to accommodate
the large size. Ginkgo tolerates most soil,
including compacted, and alkaline, and grows slowly
75 feet or more tall. The tree is easily transplanted
and has a vivid yellow fall color which is second to
none in brilliance, even in the south. However, leaves
fall quickly and the fall color show is short - See Ginkgo Photo Guide
Scientific name: Ginkgo biloba
Pronunciation: GINK-go bye-LOE-buh
Common name(s): Maidenhair Tree, Ginkgo
USDA hardiness zones:
: 3 through 8A
Origin: native to Asia
Uses: Bonsai; wide tree lawns; recommended for buffer strips around parking lots or
for median strip plantings in the highway; specimen;
sidewalk cutout (tree pit); residential street tree; tree
has been successfully grown in urban areas where air
pollution, poor drainage, compacted soil, and/or
drought are common
Availability: generally available in many areas within
its hardiness range.
Height: 50 to 75 feet.
Spread: 50 to 60 feet.
Crown uniformity: irregular outline or silhouette.
Crown shape: round; pyramidal.
Crown density: dense
Growth rate: slow
Trunk and Branches:
Trunk/bark/branches: droop as the tree grows, and
will require pruning for vehicular or pedestrian
clearance beneath the canopy; showy trunk; should be
grown with a single leader; no thorns.
Pruning requirement: needs little pruning to develop except during the early years. The tree has a strong structure.
Current year twig color: brown or gray
Leaf arrangement: alternate
Leaf type: simple
Leaf margin: top lobed
This tree is pest-free and considered resistant to
There are several cultivars: ‘Autumn Gold’- male,
fruitless, bright gold fall color and rapid growth rate;
‘Fairmont’ - male, fruitless, upright, oval to pyramidal
form; ‘Fastigiata’ - male, fruitless, upright growth;
‘Laciniata’ - leaf margins deeply divided; ‘Lakeview’ -
male, fruitless, compact broad conical form; ‘Mayfield’
- male, upright fastigiate (columnar) growth; ‘Pendula’
- pendent branches; ‘Princeton Sentry’ - male, fruitless,
fastigiate, narrow conical crown for restricted overhead
spaces, popular, 65 feet tall, available in some
nurseries; ‘Santa Cruz’ - umbrella-shaped, ‘Variegata’
- variegated leaves.
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.
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.
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