Ginkgo, Maidenhair tree (Ginkgo biloba)

Quick facts and care essentials

• Deciduous
• Climate zones 1-10, 12, 14-24, 28, 30-44
• Full sun
• Regular to moderate water
• Growth rate: moderate

This graceful tree is attractive in any season, but it's especially lovely in fall, when the leathery, light green, fan-shaped leaves suddenly turn gold. They remain on the tree for a time, then drop quickly and cleanly. Most mature ginkgos are 35 to 50 feet tall, but they can reach 70 to 80 feet; spread ranges from a typical 30 to 40 feet to as much as 80 feet. Sometimes gawky in youth, they become well proportioned with age, with a narrow to spreading or umbrella-shaped silhouette.

Plant only male trees, since females produce messy, malodorous fruit if a male tree is nearby for pollination. 'Autumn Gold' is upright in youth, broader with age; 'Fairmont' is broadly pyramidal.

Ginkgo is tolerant of air pollution, heat, and acid or alkaline soil; it makes a good street or lawn tree.