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Lawn & Garden

Maidenhair tree, Ginkgo biloba

Common Name: Ginkgo tree

Type: tree

Family: Ginkgoaceae

Zone: 3 to 8     Find Your Zone

Height: 50 to 80 feet

Width: 30 to 40 feet

Bloom Time: April

Bloom Color: green

Sun exposure: full sun

Fall Color: bright yellow

Soil: clay, moist, well drained

Leaves: deciduous

Fertilizer: Vigoro Tree, Shrub and Evergreen or Miracle Gro Evergreen Tree Spikes


I had one of these in my yard, growing up in Georgia and the biggest, most impressive one of these I have seen is on the Canada side of Niagara Falls. Ginkgo fossils from 270 million years ago have been found and humans have used these trees for food and medicinal uses for as long as they have been around. Because Ginkgo’s put off root suckers, some trees are dated to be over 2500 years old. The ginkgo was 1 of 6 trees to continue to live within 1 to 2 kilometers of the nuclear blast sight in Hiroshima in 1945.


This tree comes in male and female. Female trees produce fruit that smells absolutely terrible. For this reason, you will usually only find male trees to be propagated by nurseries. The picture of the tree above was taken just a mile down the road from me and you can see the fruit on it. This tree produces an incredible, bright yellow leaf in the fall, unlike any tree you have ever seen. Its fan shaped leaf is also unique to this tree, making it unmistakable. It is not uncommon for this tree to grow 3 foot per year.

Ginkgo makes a great lawn tree and are used in abundance in parks and office parks. Ginkgo is a moderate growing tree with erratic branch structure but shows great resistance to insects and disease. You will also find this tree on our list of 25 plants and trees with great fall color.


STEP 1: Digging the hole

  • Find a location that has suitable sun exposure for your particular type of plant.
  • Dig your hole an inch or two shallower than the rootball of the plant.
  • Dig the hole twice the diameter of the rootball.
  • Scuff up the sides of the hole with a shovel to help roots break through the native soil.

STEP 2: Putting plant in hole

  • When removing the plant from the pot, check to see if the roots were circling the pot.
  • If the plant is rootbound, gently break up the roots with your hands until loosened up.
  • Set plant level, in the center of the hole.
  • Make sure the top of the rootball is just above soil level.

STEP 3: Amending the soil and filling in the hole

  • Amend the soil with proper amendments for your soil type. 
  • Incorporate 50% native soil with 50% amendment soils like garden soil, composted manure or soil conditioner.
  • Make sure dirt clods are broken up or removed from hole along with rocks.
  • Fill the hole with soils to the soil level and pack down. Do not cover top of rootball with dirt.
  • Water in thoroughly to remove air pockets.

STEP 4: Mulching and fertilizing

  • Cover the planting site with at least 2 inches of the mulch of your choice (pinestraw, cupress mulch,etc.)
  • High Phosphorus root stimulator fertilizers like Quick Start from Miracle Gro are great to use at time of planting.
  • When planting trees, a tree stake kit may be required to prevent the wind from blowing over or breaking our newly planted tree until it becomes established.

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Posted 2015-08-27T19:36:33+0000  by Ingar_HD_ATL Ingar_HD_ATL