- How to Plant
The ginkgo tree is thought to be one of the oldest living trees, dating back to more than 150 million years. Ginkgo is a deciduous, hardy shade tree with unique fan-shaped leaves. It is native to China, Japan, and Korea, but is also now grown in Europe and the United States. Ginkgo biloba, or maidenhair, is practically pest-free, resistant to gypsy moth, long living, and drought tolerant. Young trees are often very open but they fill in to form a denser canopy. It makes a durable street tree as it is tolerant to air pollution and road salt. It also makes for an excellent specimen tree, including bonsai. The shape is often irregular with a large branch or two seemingly forming its own tree on the trunk. Ginkgo tolerates most soil, including compacted, and alkaline, and grows slowly to 75 feet tall or more. 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. Cold hardy in USDA Zones 4-9.
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STEP 1) First, decide on a planting location. Consider carefully what kind of sun, soil, and growing-space your tree or shrub will need.
STEP 2) Once you've located the perfect spot, the hole you are digging must be at least double the width and as deep as the root system you are planting.
STEP 3) Remove the plant from the pot and place the root ball in the hole. The top of the root system should be level with the ground. Before placing the tree or shrub in the hole, use your hands to gently break up the root system.
STEP 4) Once the plant is in place, backfill the hole with native soil and any leftover potting material.
STEP 5) Pack down the soil to eliminate any air pockets.
STEP 6) When finished, water thoroughly.
Ginkgo tolerates a variety of soil compositions and pH levels. Plant in well-draining soil with full to partial sun, protecting it from late afternoon heat. Ginkgo may grow extremely slow for several years after planting, but will then pick up and grow at a moderate rate, particularly if it receives an adequate supply of water and some fertilizer. But do not overwater or plant in a poorly-drained area. Be sure to keep turf several feet away from the trunk to help trees become established. Very tolerant of urban soils and pollution, ginkgo could be used more in USDA hardiness zone 7 but is not recommended in central and southern Texas or Oklahoma due to summer heat. Adapted for use as a street tree, even in confined soil spaces.