Ginkgo is a hardy, pest-resistant, and attractive large tree. It has unusual fan-shaped leaves that turn vivid yellow in fall. Only male trees should be purchased, as the females produce seeds with a soft, fruitlike covering that can be messy and have a potent odor.
Native geographic location and habitat:
Ginkgo is native to China.
Bark color and texture:
The bark is typically light gray, with shallow ridges and furrows.
Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture:
Ginkgo has simple, alternate, fan-shaped leaves in clusters of three to five on spurs or singly on long shoots. They are usually notched at the tip and 2 to 3 inches long.
Flower arrangement size and shape:
There are inconspicuous, male and female flowers on separate trees (dioecious).
Fruit, cone, nut and seed descriptions:
Ginkgo does not have a true fruit, but a seed with a fleshy covering. It is produced only on female trees and is apricot colored with a silvery cast. They are messy and they produce a strong odor. Therefore, only male cultivars should be bought.
Ginkgo is a relatively low maintenance tree. It is best to prune in spring.
List of pests, diseases and tolerances:
There aren’t any serious pest problems. Ginkgo tolerates salt, heat, drought, and alkaline soil.
Autumn Gold ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba ‘Autumn Gold’):
This cultivar is a non-fruiting male with uniform conical habit becoming broader with age. It has an outstanding yellow autumn color.
Emperor™ ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba ‘Woodstock’):
It is a non-fruiting male with upright-oval shape and a strong central leader. It will grow to 50 feet high and 40 feet wide. This is a Chicagoland Grows™ introduction.
Golden Colonade® ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba ‘JFS-UGA2’):
This cultivar is a non-fruiting male with a strong central leader and narrow-oval form. It will grow to 45 feet high and 25 feet wide.
Jade Butterfly ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba ‘Jade Butterfly’):
A non-fruiting male dwarf cultivar reaching 12 to 15 feet high with leaves in dense clusters.
Magyar ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba ‘Magyar’):
This specimen is a narrow, non-fruiting male with upright, ascending branching.
Mariken ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba ‘Mariken’):
A non-fruiting male dwarf cultivar growing three to four feet high and wide.
Presidential Gold® ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba ‘The President’):
It is a non-fruiting male with a dense upright form and strong central leader that will grow to 50 feet high and 40 feet wide.
Princeton Sentry ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba ‘Princeton Sentry’):
This cultivar is a non-fruiting male that assumes an upright, nearly columnar form that tapers to a point.
Sky Tower ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba ‘JN9’):
A non-fruiting male narrow, compact cultivar that reaches 15 to 20 feet high and 6 to 10 feet wide.