Fall Highlight, 2014

September 22, 2014

Ginkgo biloba

Ginkgo biloba, maidenhair tree, is a very unique tree.

It’s often referred to as the ‘living fossil.’ More than 200 million years ago, when dinosaurs roamed North America, Ginkgo was the dominant tree species. In North America (and elsewhere) the tree went extinct, along with the Stegosaurus. But its popularity as a street or specimen tree has only grown over the years.

The Ginkgo ’s fan-shaped leaves help to make it one of the most easily recognizable landscape trees. Its leathery leaves stay bright green all summer long, until late October when they turn a spectacular yellow. When a freeze hits them, the tree drops most, if not all of its leaves at once, leaving the ground painted in yellow. Homeowners learn quickly how difficult it is to rake up the thick, tough leaves, notorious for taking a long time to decompose. Its habit can vary tremendously. But, an irregular shape and open growth habit are typical for most.