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How to Plant a Ginkgo Tree

Ancient ginkgo tree image by Celeste Scholz from

Many people get to know the ginkgo tree through extracts of its leaves, which are used as a supplement to improve memory. The ginkgo tree is one of the oldest trees on the planet. Fossil records show that the tree lived in North America and Europe when dinosaurs roamed the earth over 200 million years ago. According to the Institute for Traditional Medicine, at least one living ginkgo tree in China is thought to be over 3,000 years old. If you plant a ginkgo tree in your own landscape, you can anticipate enjoyment of your tree for many years.

Time your planting for fall. Although the ginkgo tree can be planted anytime from spring to fall, the tree will thrive best when planted in the fall. If you plant a ginkgo tree in spring or summer, you may have to water in the summer to help the tree become established.

Select a location for your ginkgo tree that is in full sun with well-drained soil.

Select a male cultivar of ginkgo tree, such as Saratoga, Autumn Gold or Princeton Sentry. Female varieties of the ginkgo tree produce a fruit that smells unpleasant.

Dig a hole that is twice as wide as your ginkgo’s rootball but no deeper than the root ball.

Remove the container or wrapping around the roots of the tree.

Place the root ball into the planting hole. Fill in the sides of the root ball and barely cover the roots with soil.

Build a mulch ring four inches in height (called a berm) around the edge of the planting hole. Then water the berm with a garden hose.

Lightly water your ginkgo tree with a quart of water every day for a week. Reduce the watering schedule to two quarts every other day for the second week. Reduce the watering cycle to three quarts every third day on the third week. Then reduce the watering to once weekly if needed.


The ginko tree is recommended for USDA hardiness zones 3 through 8A.

Ginkgo trees are extremely adaptable and will grow well in a wide range of soil types and pH levels.

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