I have a lot of favorite trees. Ginkgo biloba is one of them!
- Great shade tree!
- Great street tree!
- Great salt-tolerant tree!
- Great, fast growth rates!
- Great bright yellow fall color!
- Great medicinal uses!
- Great tree species with no living relatives!!! Wait…what?
Ginkgo is one of the oldest living tree species. It has survived evolution and is the only one we know of dating back 270 million years in China. Crazy.
Ginkgo biloba is also in a class of plants called dioecious which means that each tree is either male or female – not both as are most plants. You don’t want the lady-types. She gets loaded with a squishy fruit that drops to the ground and gets squished underfoot releasing a fury of nastiness that you do not want to wish on your tenants or your worst enemies.
Don’t let this be a hindrance. You can easily avoid female trees by purchasing through a reputable growing. Those trees will be propagated via grafts off of other male trees, eliminating the possibility for fruiting.
Iowa State University has a grove of gorgeous ginkgoes that you steer clear in the fall because of the female forms. Interestingly, there was always a group of Vietnamese, face mask-wearing students harvesting the fruit off the ground because they are edible and have a wide range of medicinal uses.
Ginkgo will grow 60-80′ tall and about as wide. You can get them as small 1″ whips or larger with 2-3″ trees being of good size in a commercial setting.