Ginkgo Tree Information


Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) trees are large shade trees with fan-shaped leaves, which turn golden yellow to bright yellow in the fall. Ginkgo trees are also called maidenhair trees because the leaves resemble the fronds of the maidenhair fern.

Ancient Trees

Ginkgo trees are one of the oldest species of trees still living on the earth. It was thought the trees were extinct, when some were discovered in China in the mid-1700s.

Description of Tree

Ginkgo trees have a pyramidal shape and grow 70-80 feet tall. The leaves are broad and have long petioles, which allow them to move in the slightest breeze.

Description of Fruit

Female ginkgo trees produce fruits that resemble cherries or small plums. When the fruit drops from the tree and begins to rot, it smells like rancid butter. Male plants do not produce fruit, so they are most commonly planted.


'Autumn Gold' has better fall color and is smaller than the species. 'Princeton Sentry' is nearly columnar, growing 70 feet tall and 10 feet wide. 'Variegata' is a shrub form with green and gold foliage.

Famous Tie

Gingko trees were the only trees to survive the atomic blast on Hiroshima. They are now part of memorial of the disaster.


  • Texas A&M University

Who Can Help

  • The Ginkgo Tree
Keywords: Gingko tree, Ginkgo biloba, Maidenhair tree

About this Author

Melody Lee began working as a reporter and copywriter for the "Jasper News" in 2004 and was promoted to editor in 2005. She also edits magazine articles and books. Lee holds a degree in landscape design, is a Florida Master Gardener, and has more than 25 years of gardening experience.