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GinkgoGinkgo biloba

  • Northern Red Oak - Quercus rubra
  • Gingko Tree
  • Gingko Tree
  • Gingko Tree
  • Gingko Tree
Hailed as “undoubtedly one of the most distinct and beautiful of all deciduous trees,” the ginkgo certainly stands out. Unique, fan-shaped leaves turn a stunning yellow color in the fall. It can tolerate many urban conditions including heat, air pollution, salt, and confined spaces. And it establishes easily.

This tree also comes with a bit of history. It is a living fossil, with the earliest leaf fossils dating from 270 million years ago.

Hardiness Zones

The ginkgo can be expected to grow in Hardiness Zones 3–8. View Map

Tree Type

This tree is considered both a shade tree and an ornamental tree. It features a spreading canopy capable of blocking sunlight and adds visual interest and beauty to landscaping.

Mature Size

The ginkgo grows to a height of 25–50' and a spread of 25–35' at maturity.

Growth Speed Medium Growth Rate

This tree grows at a medium rate, with height increases of 13–24" per year.

Sun Preference

Full sun and partial shade are best for this tree, meaning it prefers a minimum of four hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight each day.

Soil Preference

The ginkgo grows in acidic, alkaline, loamy, moist, rich, sandy, silty loam, well-drained, wet and clay soils. It tolerates moderate drought and wetness but doesn’t grow well in hot, dry climates.


This tree:
  • Features simple, fan-shaped bright green leaves that are 2–3" long and just as wide.
  • Provides attractive yellow fall color.
  • Works well as a street tree, even in confined spaces.
  • Transplants easily and establishes without difficulty.
  • Yields naked seeds that are tan in color and plum-like in shape. Some complain of the mess and odor associated with the fruit of the female tree and recommend planting only male specimens.
  • Can live as long as 3,000 years.
  • Grows in a pyramidal shape.
  • Tolerates heat, air pollution and soil salt.
  • May grow slowly for several years after planting.


The Ginkgo tree is a living fossil, with the earliest leaf fossils dating from 270 million years ago. It was rediscovered in 1691 in China and was brought to this country in the late 1700s. The seeds and leaves have been (and are still today) used in medicine throughout the world.