Ginkgo Trees in Texas
August 27, 2013
It seems we’re always on the hunt for the most new exciting plant or tree on the market to plant in our landscapes. But, sometimes older is better. When it comes to tough trees that tolerate urban abuse, there aren’t many trees that can keep up with the ancient Ginkgo biloba, also known as Maidenhair Tree.
Ginkgo trees are referred to as living fossils because they have no other remaining plant relatives in their family Ginkgoaceae. As a species, they’ve changed very little since the Jurassic period, which dates back more than 200 million years. These tough trees can live for thousands of years. Ginkgo has been widely used since ancient times for the treatment of many diseases, high blood pressure regulation and improvement of memory and circulation to the brain. Ginkgo leaves contain high levels of antioxidants that help the body rid itself of toxins.
The fan-shaped leaves of Ginkgo trees are one of the most recognized of tree leaves and their fall foliage color is the best around. The bright green leaves turn a striking bright gold color in the fall. Ginkgo trees typically prefer a more acidic soil with improved drainage, but you’ll find they can adapt to grow in many different soil types as long as drainage is adequate. Ginkgo trees planted in Texas will need supplemental watering through the first several years. They have a very high tolerance for urban pollution, which is why you often see them planted as street trees in large cities around the country.
If you’re considering planting a Ginkgo tree, you need to know that they grow as separate male and female trees. If male Ginkgo trees are also present, mature female trees produce a small plum-like fruit which, while prized in Chinese culture for many culinary and medicinal reasons, does smell quite foul. While it is the standard to sell only male trees, there is technically no way to know if you’re buying a male or female tree. It can often take 30 or more years for a female tree to mature. The best way to be sure you’re getting a male tree is to buy selected varieties such as ‘Autumn Gold’.
If you're intrested in having new trees planted this fall, the best time to plant trees, we can take care of the planting for you. View our Tree Planting Guide to see how we properly plant trees.