How Do Ginko Trees Reproduce?

How Do Ginko Trees Reproduce? image by Jean-Pol Grandmont/

Vegetative Growth

Gingko biloba trees have the capacity to reproduce vegetatively by throwing multiple root runners from the main trunk. Not all gingko trees do this and many will only develop runners after a decade or more of growth. These runners can be buried under the soil or semi-covered in the soil. The runners spread out to form new saplings most typically within a 6-foot radius from the trunk but they can form at greater distances.

Reproduction by Seed

Gingko trees develop seeds in two ways. Male gingko trees grow long catkins and seed nuts while female gingkos flower and then form seed nuts. Gingko seeds resemble outsize pistachios in a half-cracked shell. Growing gingko by seed is a simple but a very slow process as gingko only produces flowers and seeds when the tree reaches roughly 20 years of age.

Grafted Cuttings

Most commercial gingko trees available on the market today are male gingko tree stock cuttings top grafted onto seedlings of hearty, compatible root stock. Male grafting stock is used to almost exclusively avoid the messy and foul-smelling fruiting that occurs with the mature female gingko tree.

Keywords: gingko biloba tree, reproduction, propagation

About this Author

A communications professional, D.C. Winston has more than 17 years of experience writing and editing content for online publications, corporate communications, business clients, industry journals and film/broadcast media. Winston studied political science at the University of California, San Diego.

Photo by: Jean-Pol Grandmont/