Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Maidenhair Tree
Ginkgo biloba

Family: Ginkgoaceae
Genus: Ginkgo (GING-ko) (Info)
Species: biloba (bi-LOW-buh) (Info)

12 vendors have this plant for sale.

57 members have or want this plant for trade.


over 40 ft. (12 m)

30-40 ft. (9-12 m)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested
Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:
Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Seed Collecting:
Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible

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There are a total of 58 photos.
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15 positives
4 neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral alexgr1 On Feb 5, 2015, alexgr1 from Dunnellon, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

First, scarify the seeds. For faster germination, soak the seeds in slightly hot water for 24-48 hours, followed by 3 months cold stratification before sowing in your soil mixture. Keep damp soil, not soaking wet. Keep pot in warm situation 20C/68F, 24C/75F. Germination can take several months. It can be more depending on their degree of unbroken dormancy, don't give up.
Scarification / Stratification
Seed coats may be so hard that they are impermeable to water. They need to be scratched or broken using a knife or sandpaper, in order to germinate. Chip the seeds with a sharp knife or make a few swipes with a sharp edged file or use sandpaper to allow moisture being more readily absorbed. - See more at:

Positive idahocactus2 On Jan 5, 2015, idahocactus2 from Boise, ID wrote:

Many of these ginkgo trees are planted along Capitol Blvd. in Boise and are doing very well. I think they are 25 years old or so, and put on quite a display in the fall.

They are planted in various parts of the Boise Valley and don't seem to be too fussy about soil types.

Neutral bobbieberecz On May 16, 2014, bobbieberecz from Concrete, WA wrote:

I have all the right conditions for this tree: lots of rain, sandy/loam soil, etc. I didn't have full sun. It has grown about 6 inches in 3 years. It looks perfectly healthy but just kind of hangin' out there. I just transplanted it into a flower border where it will get regular watering, full sun, and nutritious mulch with the other plants. My only concern is that it will out-grow its spot, providing too much shade for the other plants. I bought it for the foliage, both green and yellow, and for the dainty leaf shape and movement. It hasn't disappointed me on that corner.

Positive coriaceous On Mar 13, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

One of the most distinctive and beautiful of all deciduous trees.

Buy only bud-grafted male cultivars, as the fleshy seed covering that females drop is messy, stinks of vomit and contains the same resin that causes poison ivy rash. Seed-grown plants take 20 to 50 years before their sex can be determined. Freed of their coverings, the seeds are considered a delicacy by the Chinese, and are used in both traditional and modern medicine.

Males make a great street or shade tree where there is room for the stout trunk. In their youth, they may be gawky and sparsely branched, but in maturity they're magnificent. They can reach 100' tall or more and grow wider than tall with age---and live over a thousand years. Their leaves turn a luminous gold late in the fall color season.

Tough and adaptable, tolerant of salt, heat, poor soils, and air pollution, their most important requirement is good sun. No significant pests or diseases. Capable of fast growth under optimal conditions, but usually slow-growing in the landscape, about 1' per year. This is one of the toughest of urban trees.

These were among the first east Asian trees encountered by European plant explorers and cultivated in the west, because every Confucian temple or monastery had to have at least one. They have been found growing in the wild only in the last decade.

This tree is a living fossil, and a kind of (no longer) missing link between the conifers and the other flowering plants. Plants that are recognizably ginkgos appear in fossils dating back 250 million years, 2 1/2 time the age of that other famous living fossil, the dawn redwood.

Positive Mike_W On Aug 30, 2012, Mike_W from Sterling, MA wrote:

I have been growing this tree in my Sterling, MA yard (zone 6) for a few years and have nothing but good things to say about it. Currently it is about 3 feet tall and grows about 6-8 inches per year. It seems to tolerate low rainfall to some degree as we had very little rain this past summer, but it thrives when the soil is kept moist. The only caution I have is in regards to animals sampling the tree. I had another Ginkgo that was about 12 inches tall and each years growth was snipped off by rabbits and chipmunks, so if planting a small seedling, I would advise protecting it with some sort of fencing, etc. until it grows tall enough to be out of reach.

Neutral manza On Jul 3, 2012, manza from Long Beach, CA (Zone 10b) wrote:

I heard that it can take 20 years until the ginkgo tree produces fruit, so you can tell what sex the tree is. Can anyone confirm this?

Negative mums_legacy On Jul 11, 2010, mums_legacy from Albany, CA (Zone 11) wrote:

I live in Albany, California a smallish on San Francisco Bay bordered by Berkeley, El Cerrito and Richmond. This area has historically been prone to Oak Root fungus and during the 70's the city planted a multitude of MALE Gincko trees on certain residential streets in the affected areas. The tree outside our house was perfect and healthy and we took very good care of it. My negative rating is due to Mother Nature, and her ability to allow our gincko to become fertile, and begin producing the Gincko fruit. That is also fine except for the putrid stench of the fruit would emit upon falling and/or being stepped on. I can describe the smell exactly as a combination of Vomit and Dog Poo. As these trees were along the street and branched over the street and the sidewalk, the city had to remove our tree after receiving a signed petition from neighbors, local business owners and, YES, us. Be very careful. At least we had 15 years of beauty and shade.

Positive velveteena On Jul 7, 2010, velveteena from Seattle, WA wrote:

I LOVE this tree---reminds me of my childhood, as well as visits to Japan. My neighbor and I each have a ginkgo growing in a pot, and doing nicely after three years or so. Very good, steady growth, but I do wonder how long before it MUST go into the ground.

Positive cvece On Jul 5, 2010, cvece from San Diego, CA wrote:

I learned about ginkos in my science book in 4th grade, and to my delight found 2 beautiful trees growing in front of a church near my house in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This was in the mid 1950's. Every fall ,even after I moved away from that neighbor hood, I somehow managed to visit the trees and their wonderful golden display. Standing under them, I felt so touched by time and connected to it.Then I moved to San Diego, married , and had 4 children I .My oldest son, knowing my passion for this mythical tree, took me down to the old meat packing district in Manhattan when I was visiting a few years ago. They're everywhere, though pruned so as not to branch too far into the street,and so are more columnar .Earlier, I had debated finding one to plant at our house because I was afraid of killing it through neglect- my family consumed so much time. Finally, after all this time, I saw one at a local nursery in a 4" pot, just waiting for me ,it seemed. I planted it, and it's flourishing- in a large plastic pot. It's about 4 years old. I've been debating where to put it in the garden. From the comments, I guess the answer is anywhere. Thanks all.

Positive kydrummer On Jul 5, 2010, kydrummer from Silver Spring, MD wrote:

There is a very large Ginko on the grounds of the Crawford Museum in Devou Park, just outside Covington, KY. I asked a staff member and they believe it's of sufficient age that it may have been sent to the family that owned the property by Thomas Jefferson, since they were know to be in contact with him and he had acquired some ginkos for Monticello.

Positive AlchemillaSkin On Jul 13, 2008, AlchemillaSkin from Oregon City, OR wrote:

Ginkgo has long been grown as a sacred tree in China and Japan and is often referred to as a "living fossel" - a single tree can live as long as 1000 years and the trees alive today are almost identical to those in fossil records predating the evolution of mammals!

We use extracts from the leaves of this beautiful tree to make organic skin care. Ginkgo leaves contain flavonoids and terpenoids - all potent antioxidants. For this reason the extracts are used in skin care as a free radical neutralizer (anti-aging treatment).

Positive Ragley On Sep 3, 2007, Ragley from Ragley, LA wrote:

About 10 years ago, we planted a ginkgo here in SW Louisiana, not knowing a thing about it except that it's pretty. Since then we've had drought, freeze, rain and hurricane. It's been almost totally ignored, with occasional cow manure compost tossed around it. The hummingbirds, bluebirds and warblers like the branches and the woodpeckers have rows and rows of holes poked around the trunk. When we first got it, it was almost burned down by a nearby fire and another tree fell on it. I'd definitely call it a hardy tree that's easy to grow! It's about 12 - 15 feet tall, in spite of us.

Positive weedylady On Sep 3, 2007, weedylady from Springfield, MO wrote:

I have a neighbor with two massive , very old ginkgo trees. They are gorgeous BUT!!!--they are female ginkgo trees and produce the most terrible fruit!!! The odor is horrible. Please be sure you plant a male tree to avoid the terrible smell of the ginkgo fruit.

Positive melody On Nov 30, 2004, melody from Benton, KY (Zone 7a) wrote:

These trees have the most beautiful golden foliage in the Autumn. They hold their leaves longer than a lot of trees, so they are easy to spot going down the road.

Most have a nice regular shape with alternating branches that looks well in a landscape. The leaves are small, and do not make much of a mess when dropped.

Positive OhioBreezy On Jun 4, 2004, OhioBreezy from Dundee, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:

I live in OH, a friend lives in WV, went there of a weekend, and she sent me home with a 6 foot tall tree, we dug it right before we left, it came home in car, not in any water or anything, planted next day some 16 hours later! It was just fine, a very very hardy tree!!! It has survived my Ohio winters and is just a beautiful specimen tree!.

Positive shadeslinger On Apr 8, 2004, shadeslinger wrote:

The Ginkgo tree is one of the toughest plants around. In fact several trees survived the Atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima in WW 2. All the trees were within about a mile and some were about a half mile from the blast and survived!

Positive dogbane On Dec 17, 2003, dogbane from New Orleans, LA (Zone 9a) wrote:

Ginkgo is a popular street tree here as it seems to withstand fairly harsh environments, is relatively clean (male specimens - the females produce an abundance of smelly fruit) and provides dependable fall foliage in bright yellow.

Positive pleb On Sep 5, 2003, pleb from Plymouth,
United Kingdom (Zone 9a) wrote:

I have had three efforts at raising Ginkgo's from seed obtained from Chiltern's Seeds. This year I was successful with 100% germination of 10 large seeds.

Positive DLSLandscape On May 23, 2003, DLSLandscape from Dallas, TX wrote:

Gingkoes can generally be grown throughout the US, but here is some useful information for anyone wanting to plant one in a hot climate (such as Texas). A Gingko tree can scorch badly in full sun, especially if it is a young specimen. You are better off planting this tree in a spot with protection from the late afternoon sun. In fact, it makes a great understory tree and we have found that a Gingko will flourish in as little as four hours of daily sunlight. As the tree matures, its own leaves will protect its somewhat tender bark and allow it to grow well in a full sun location. It is also considered to be extremely slow growing. We have found that with 2-3 applications of moderate-rate nitrogen fertilizer per year, a Ginkgo can grow at a nice pace - comparable to a Redbud or Mexican Plum. Gingkoes are truly a unique tree and well worth the effort.

Neutral TheMrAugie On Mar 23, 2001, TheMrAugie from Penfield, NY (Zone 6a) wrote:

Internationally famous remnant of the dinosaur age, it forms a large tree in 100 years. A Chinese specimen is thought to be 4000 years old. Sexes are on separate trees(dioecious) and females produce fruit after about 20 years. The smelly fruit contains urushiol and must be separated from the large seed while wearing rubber gloves to avoid the 'poison-ivy' rash.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

, (6 reports)
Birmingham, Alabama
Decatur, Alabama
Florence, Alabama
Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Prescott, Arizona
Albany, California
Citrus Heights, California
Long Beach, California
Manteca, California
Rowland Heights, California
San Diego, California
Stockton, California
Upland, California
Walnut, California (2 reports)
Woodlake, California
Yorba Linda, California
Denver, Colorado
Fort Collins, Colorado
Grand Junction, Colorado
Bridgeport, Connecticut
Clinton, Connecticut
Aripeka, Florida
Keystone Heights, Florida
Orlando, Florida
Vero Beach, Florida
Albany, Georgia
Cordele, Georgia
Dahlonega, Georgia
Eastman, Georgia
Marietta, Georgia
Roswell, Georgia
Boise, Idaho (3 reports)
Meridian, Idaho
Plainfield, Illinois
Indianapolis, Indiana
Barbourville, Kentucky
Benton, Kentucky
Georgetown, Kentucky
Latonia, Kentucky
Louisville, Kentucky
Madisonville, Kentucky
Murray, Kentucky
Taylorsville, Kentucky
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Ragley, Louisiana
Baltimore, Maryland
Mc Henry, Maryland
Westminster, Maryland
Lawrence, Massachusetts
Roslindale, Massachusetts
Dearborn, Michigan
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Hopkins, Minnesota
Fulton, Missouri
Lincoln, Nebraska
Neptune, New Jersey
Clinton, New York
Kingston, New York
Woodstock, New York
Asheville, North Carolina
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Raleigh, North Carolina
Cleveland, Ohio
Columbus, Ohio
Dundee, Ohio
Fort Jennings, Ohio
Middletown, Ohio
Hulbert, Oklahoma
Bandon, Oregon
Cooksburg, Pennsylvania
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
Summerville, South Carolina
Arlington, Texas
Dallas, Texas
Dumas, Texas
Humble, Texas
Orem, Utah
Leesburg, Virginia
Lexington, Virginia
Nellysford, Virginia
Newport News, Virginia
Richmond, Virginia
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Concrete, Washington
Marysville, Washington
Mountlake Terrace, Washington
Port Angeles, Washington
Ridgefield, Washington
Princeton, West Virginia
Green Bay, Wisconsin

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