Ginko Biloba

Ginkgo biloba (maidenhair-tree)is practically pest-free, resistant to storm damage, and casts light to moderate shade. Young trees are often very open but they fill in to form a denser canopy. It makes a durable street tree where there is enough overhead space to accommodate the large size. The shape is often irregular with a large branch or two seemingly forming its own tree on the trunk. But this does not detract from its usefulness as a city tree unless the tree will be growing in a restricted overhead space. If this is the case, select from the narrow upright cultivars such as `Princeton Sentry' and `Fairmont'. Ginkgo tolerates most soil, including compacted, and alkaline, and grows slowly to 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.

Ginkgo biloba trees reach 50'-80' in height, with a spread of 30'-40'. Their uniquely fan-shaped leaves start out green but morph into a golden fall foliage. Before the whole leaf turns golden, there's sometimes a stage that I especially enjoy, during which the leaf is two-toned, with separate bands of gold and green.