Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Look to Ginkgo Trees for Autumn Color


Lemon Yellow Ginkgo Leaves and a Vermilion Sweet Gum Leaf

If you haven't had a chance to enjoy the changing colors of the season look for this tree as you venture out and about. I am updating this posting from last year in case someone missed my enthusiastic passion. My favorite tree, ginkgo, is a tree frequently unnoticed until it drops its leaves. What an unusual shape for a leaf and it is such a beautiful and brilliant yellow shade in the autumn!  It's leaf is fan-shaped or "duck-feet" shaped. The fruit is produced only by the female tree. 


Zone 7
Rarely, a ginkgo tree with fruit is found. I was happy to capture these photographs of a female tree with ripe fruit at the Dallas Arboretum. The Arboretum is a great place to see a broad spectrum and diversity of trees.

             GINKGO BILOBA TREE Topiary           
Entrance to The Japanese Gardens
Fort Worth Botanical Gardens
Zone 7

Ginkgo Biloba
ADDISONIA, VOL. 11: T. 362 NYBG 1926


Arborists prefer to plant male trees due to the cheesy scent of the fruit produced on the female tree.  The tree above was planted over forty years ago. It is slow growing in hardiness zone 5 where this tree is placed. The soil was like cement when I planted it but it has survived, amazingly.

Two traits appreciated by ginkgo lovers are the golden fall color and in just 1-2 days the leaves fall to the ground making cleanup quick and easy.

Ginkgo is believed to originate in China. A 1,400 year old ginkgo can be found in the Zhongnan Mountains in China.

Table 1: Autumn Leaves of Ginkgo in various hardiness zones
Hardiness zone       When to expect beautiful yellow color in fall?                                   When to expect leaves to drop?
Zone 1 Unknown
Zone 2 Unknown
Zone 3 Unknown
Zone 4 Unknown
Zone 5 October, last week thru November, 2nd week November, 2nd week
Zone 6 November, 2nd week
Zone 7 November, 3rd - 4th week 8-Dec
Zone 8 November, 3rd - 4th week 8-Dec
Zone 9 Unknown
Zone 10 Unknown

Grassroots Horticulture