As I was driving thru our daughter’s neighborhood, filled with wonderful homes built 75-100 years ago, and sporting many very mature shade trees, it was very apparent that one species of these very large trees was coming into its own for fall color. And when it does, it is simply spectacular. Not only do the leaves (with a very distinctive fan shaped leaf) turn a yellow that truly is a deep but bright golden yellow, just like a click of the fingers those golden leaves make a quick fall to form a golden blanket beneath this majestic tree. Its one of the world’s most distinctive trees and has no close living relatives. It’s one of the oldest living tree species in the world, dating back to before dinosaurs roamed the earth; it’s so ancient, the species is known as a ‘living fossil’.
We’re talking Ginkgo biloba – a highly valued tree in horticulture, as a street tree, as a bonsai, as a large lawn or park tree, to many of the upright, dwarf and globe options that are available today. Its even popular in herbal medicine, inspirational in art, literature, and religion, and although they smell pretty bad, can be a source of edible nuts. (Unless you want these stinky edibles, always chose sterile or male selections!) Trust me….there is a Ginkgo selection out there for just about any location in your yard and landscape. Plant one…truly one of the coolest trees you’ll have with a great story behind it.