Name That Tree

By Gil Medeiros
If you selected Ginkgo biloba, you are correct (give yourself a gold star). The fan-shaped, lobed leaves, 2-3 inches long, are the best identification key.

yellow leaves

Yellow Autumn Leaves

Ginkgo is a gymnosperm, more closely related to conifers such as pine trees than other deciduous trees. It is also the only species in its genus, which is the only genus in its family.

It will grow at a moderate rate to 50 to 75 feet tall and spread to about 35 feet.

Our region is in the “Goldilocks zone” for this tree: “Not too hot, not too cold; just right.”
Ginkgo is an all-around athlete in that it can thrive in soils that are acidic, alkaline, compressed, or loose — that’s one reason it succeeds as a street tree. The limbs resist breakage in the wind. It is also a respectable shade tree when mature. You are not likely to outlive this tree; it can live 1,000 years.

There are numerous cultivars available, even a dwarf version that grows to a maximum of 6 feet. This makes a great focal point shrub in the back of a bed. The cultivars offer variations of tree form from columnar to vase-shaped.

Ginkgo fruit