WSU Clark County Extension

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Scientific name: Ginkgo biloba

Type:Deciduous tree
Plant Requirements
Zone:3 to 8
Sun:Full to partial sun
Plant Characteristics
Height:80 ft
Width:60 ft
Bloom:Spring flowers
Bloom Time:April to May
Bloom Color:Yellow
Additional Characteristics



Wildlife value

Description Often described as a living fossil, Ginkgo (commonly referred to as the Maiden Hair tree) is a tall specimen tree prized for its urban adaptability and beautiful fall foliage.

Ginkgo trees can become very large in the landscape over time. It is not un-common to find mature specimens which are 80' tall and 60’ wide. When the trees are young they have an upright columnar and sparsely branched habit. As they age however they start to take on a spreading, upright oval shape.

The branches bear fan-shaped leaves which are up to 3” long, borne on a petiole which is also 3” long. Leaf blades often have a marked single vertical slit in the top center thus describing the species name of biloba. In addition, the veins on the leaves are slightly raised which gives them a ribbed appearance. Leaves are arranged alternately along the terminal stems, but clustered into whorls on the numerous short spur shoots. During the summer the leaves are medium green in color, but with the shorter days of autumn they turn a very pleasing chartreuse or golden yellow color.

The ginkgo tree comes as either a male or female tree. The latter bears pistillate flowers which give rise to 1” diameter round fruit, which are borne in groups of 2-6 per cluster. They are light orange to tan in color. When mature they take on a most un-pleasant odor, which is often described as rancid butter! In the nursery trade there are male cultivars of ginkgo (‘Autumn Gold’, ‘Fastigata’) which are obviously preferred over the female trees.

Ginkgo can grow in both full sun to partial sun. While it prefers deep moist sandy sites it is considered tolerant of just about any sort of urban condition.

None reported.
For assistance, contact Dr. Charles Brun (, (360) 397-6060 5701
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