Ginkgo biloba is a large, deciduous tree which has a narrow habit and grows up to 30m. It has a resistance to pests, diseases, pollution and many soil conditions making it an excellent specimen for urban planting.
Bright green, fan shaped leaves emerge in Spring and later they turn brilliant yellow giving a beautiful Autumn show.
Interestingly, Ginkgo biloba is neither a broadleaf or a conifer and has its own division, Ginkgophyta. Because it has no close living relatives, it is also the only tree in this division.
Often know as the ‘living fossil tree’, fossil records show that species closely related to today's Gingko have existed for over 200 million years across Europe, Greenland and the USA. Scientists believe that it was the glaciers covering most of the northern hemisphere which reduced its population and distribution to a small area of China.
Ginkgo biloba is the national tree of China and some specimens planted in temples are claimed to be over 2,500 years old.
Ginkgo biloba is available from Deepdale Trees as a standard or multi-stemmed tree.
Name: Ginkgo biloba
Common Name: Maidenhair tree
Height: Approx. 25-30m, though some individual plants in China are over 50m
Demands: Well watered and well drained soil
Flowers: No flowers
Foliage: Fan shaped, two lobed leaves with veins radiating from the petiole.
Bark: light to greyish brown. Ridges become deeper as the tree matures.
FACT: When the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, six Ginkgo trees growing within 2km survived. Although slightly burnt, they recovered quite quickly and are still alive today.
Ginkgo biloba - Autumn foliage
Ginkgo biloba - 18-20-25cm girth Standard trees
40-50cm girth Standard
Foliage in Autumn
Ginkgo's many names
Ginkgo - When Engelbert Kaempfer discovered the tree in 1690 in a Japanese temple they pronounced the name ginkyō. He recorded the name with the with the spelling it has today. Biloba - from Latin bis 'two' and loba 'lobed'. Common misspellings are ginko and gingko,
Maidenhair Tree - named because the leaves resemble those of the Maidenhair fern - Adiantum capillus-veneris
Duck Foot Tree - Old Chinese records show that Ginkgo once had the name ya-chio-tu, translating to “leaves like a duck’s foot”.
Stink Bomb tree - The female plants produce round fleshy fruits which smell like vomit or rancid butter when they fall. For this reason, male plants are always used in planting schemes. Silver Apricot or White Fruit - the more modern Chinese common names also alluding to the fruit produced.
Uses for Ginkgo biloba
The seeds / nuts produced by the Gingko tree are a traditional Chinese food. They are used in congee and often served at special occasions such as weddings and Chinese New Year.
Ginkgo leaves are dried, powdered and sold as tablets. They are used mostly to enhance the memory and concentration and have been effective in some cases for treating dementia.
50lbs of dried ginkgo leaves produce 1lb of powder for medicinal purposes.
Ginkgo biloba standard tree