How to Germinate Ginkgo Tree Fruits


The ginkgo tree, also known as the maidenhair tree, thrives in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 3 to 8. The ginkgo tree grows quite large, up to heights of 80 feet with a spread of 60 feet, making it the choice of many folks lucky enough to have a big yard. Ginkgo tree fruits germinate with little work, but there are certain characteristics of the seed you must keep in mind. The outer layer of the ginkgo seed contains a noxious chemical that may cause skin irritation and nausea. Wear rubber or plastic gloves and provide adequate ventilation while collecting and cleaning the seeds.

Step 1

Place the gingko fruit in a bowl of warm water and allow it to soak for 20 minutes. Using your fingers, push the seeds out of the fruit. You may need to peel the outer layer from the seed.

Step 2

Scrub the ginkgo seed under warm running water, using a soft scrubber (such as that used for non-stick cookware). Remove all traces of the pulp from the inner seed. Allow the seeds to dry completely.

Step 3

Moisten enough sphagnum peat moss to completely envelope the ginkgo seeds. The peat moss should not be wet or dripping, just slightly damp. Place the moss in a plastic bag with the seeds. Secure the bag and place it in the refrigerator for eight weeks. Check periodically to see if the peat moss remains moist and if any of the seeds have germinated. This happens occasionally, so remove and pot any that sprout early.

Step 4

Remove the bag from the refrigerator and place it in an area where you can check the ginkgo seeds periodically. They generally begin sprouting within two to three weeks. Remove them from the bag as they sprout and pot them.

Step 5

Pour a layer of coarse sand into the planting pot and moisten it until the water drains from the bottom of the pot. Add potting soil to the pot. Dig a hole in the soil just deep enough for the seedlings roots and plant the seedling. Mist it well after planting and mist it daily for the first two weeks after planting.

Step 6

Place the pot in an area that receives bright--but not direct--sunlight and remains at a temperature of at least 65 degrees F. Plant ginkgo seedlings outside after three months.

Things You'll Need

  • Rubber or plastic gloves
  • Soft scrubbing material
  • Sphagnum peat moss
  • Plastic bag
  • Coarse sand
  • Planting pots, 4 to 6 inches, with holes in the bottom for drainage
  • Potting soil


  • Ottawa Horticultural Society: Growing Ginkgoes From Seed
  • Arbor Day Foundation: Ginkgo, Maidenhair Tree
  • Ohio State University: Gingko biloba
Keywords: propagate ginkgo fruit, propagate gingko biloba, germinate maidenhair

About this Author

Victoria Hunter, a former broadcaster and real estate agent, has provided audio and written services to both small businesses and large corporations, worldwide. Hunter is a freelance writer specializing in the real estate industry. She devotes her spare time to her other passions: gardening and cooking. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing.