Did you know that Ginkgo Trees are usually considered to be living fossils? It’s because they have remained largely unchanged for about 200 million years! They also have distinctive, attractive fall foliage making them a popular choice for landscaping and garden planting. Read on to learn more about Ginkgo tree varieties!
- 1. Fairmont Maidenhair Tree
- 2. Princeton Sentry Maidenhair Tree
- 3. Autumn Gold Maidenhair Tree
- 4. Chase Manhattan Maidenhair Tree
- 5. Majestic Butterfly Maidenhair Tree
- 6. Lacy Maidenhair Tree
- 7. Saratoga Maidenhair Tree
- 8. Upright Maidenhair Tree
- 9. Menhir Maidenhair Tree
- 10. Elmwood Maidenhair Tree
- 11. Potter Pete Maidenhair Tree
- 12. Weeping Wonder Maidenhair Tree
- 13. Kohout Weeping Maidenhair Tree
- 14. Boleslaw Chrobry Maidenhair Tree
- 15. Folkert’s Select Maidenhair Tree
- 16. Golden Colonnade® Ginkgo
- 17. Halka Ginkgo Maidenhair Tree
- 18. Magyar Maidenhair Tree
- 19. Presidential Gold® Maidenhair Tree
- 20. Liberty Splendor Maidenhair Tree
- 21. Golden Globe Maidenhair Tree
- 22. Shangri-La Maidenhair Tree
- 23. Umbrella/Santa Cruz Maidenhair Tree
Ginkgo biloba is a fairly tall, deciduous tree that can grow up to 100 feet tall. This tree is considered to be a living fossil. It’s the only surviving member of a group of ancient trees and plants believed to have inhabited the earth more than 150 to 200 million years ago.
Ginkgo Biloba trees have distinctive, large, two-lobed, slightly leathery, fan-shaped, rich, emerald green leaves with diverging, almost parallel veins. Their unique foliage develops a universally loved bright, golden-yellow hue. These trees are also known as Maidenhair Trees because their fan-shaped leaves resemble the Maidenhair Fern leaflets.
These popular ancient trees are dioecious, i.e., they can be male or female. Typically, only the male variety is sold commercially because they don’t produce foul-smelling fruits. Meanwhile, female Ginkgo Trees produce seeds enclosed in fleshy-fruit-like cones, which emit a noxious, foul smell in autumn and create a mess after falling to the ground and splitting open.
In landscaping, you can grow Ginkgo trees as huge shade-providing specimens or as attractive, ornamental additions to your gardens. Some ginkgo biloba varieties have a compact form, which enables them to grow in smaller gardens quite easily. You can also grow Ginkgo Trees as accents or garden centerpieces. Almost all the varieties feature fan-shaped Ginkgo leaves and thrive in urban, polluted environments.
Once mature, Ginkgo trees require minimal care. They are also highly resistant to diseases and pests. However, make sure to plant your tree in a sunlit area in free-draining soils and water it regularly for regular, steady growth.
Here are some popular Ginkgo Tree varieties that you can grow in your garden:
1. Fairmont Maidenhair Tree
- Ginkgo biloba Fairmont
- Height: 30-50 ft
Fairmont Maidenhair Tree is a deciduous, conifer with a narrow, dense, pyramidal crown. This tree features almost horizontal young branches that develop an upright form with age. Fairmont Maidenhair Tree is decorated with a distinctive canopy of fan-shaped, green foliage that turns brilliant gold in autumn. This popular shade tree thrives in full sun in medium moist, free-draining soils.
2. Princeton Sentry Maidenhair Tree
- Ginkgo biloba Princeton sentry
- Height: 40-50 ft
Princeton Sentry Maidenhair Tree is an all-male cultivar of the Ginkgo Tree. It features an upright, narrow, canonical crown decked with leathery, green leaves that turn golden yellow in fall. The foliage persists for several weeks and then drops rapidly. This tree grows well in medium moist, free-draining, sandy soils and full sun.
3. Autumn Gold Maidenhair Tree
- Ginkgo biloba autumn gold
- Height: 40-50 ft
Autumn Gold Maidenhair Tree is an all-male Ginkgo Tree cultivar with a broad-spreading, symmetrical crown. It features fan-shaped leaves that turn golden yellow in fall and persist for several weeks. The foliage drops suddenly, forming an attractive golden carpet around the tree. Autumn Gold Maidenhair Tree is a slow-growing tree that you can plant as a shade provider on your lawn.
4. Chase Manhattan Maidenhair Tree
- Ginkgo biloba chase manhattan
- Height: 6 ft
Chase Manhattan Maidenhair Tree is a dwarf Ginkgo variety with an upright, spreading crown. This relatively low-maintenance, slow-growing shrub features small, emerald green, cupped, upright leaves that grown on closely spaced branches. The foliage turns rich yellow-gold in fall. This highly ornamental tree is the ideal fir for a rock garden. It thrives in full sun and free-draining soils.
5. Majestic Butterfly Maidenhair Tree
- Ginkgo biloba majestic butterfly
- Height: c
Majestic Butterfly Maidenhair Tree is a deciduous Ginkgo Tree with a vase-like, upright crown. This tree is adorned with fan-shaped, variegated, cream, green, and butter-yellow leaves that turn gold-yellow in fall. This specimen tree thrives in medium moist, well-drained soils and full sun. Majestic Butterfly Maidenhair Tree is a pollution-tolerant tree that you can grow as an accent plant.
6. Lacy Maidenhair Tree
- Ginkgo biloba lacy
- Height: 25-50 ft
Lacy Maidenhair Tree gets its name from its fan-shaped leaves that have a textured edge, giving them the appearance of lace. This distinctive shade tree tends to grow well in full sun to part shade and sandy, free-draining soils.
7. Saratoga Maidenhair Tree
- Ginkgo biloba saratoga
- Height: 50 ft
Introduced by the Saratoga Horticultural Foundation, Inc. in San Martin, California, Saratoga Maidenhair Tree is a male Ginkgo clone with deeply divided, unusually large, pendulous leaves with a lacy appearance. Saratoga Ginkgo has a full, dense, pyramidal crown and symmetrical branches. This tree works well as a street or specimen tree because of its incredible golden-yellow fall foliage and pollution tolerance. It thrives in full sun to part shade and moderate, free-draining soil.
8. Upright Maidenhair Tree
- Ginkgo biloba fastigiata
- Height: 30-50 ft
Upright Maidenhair Tree is a columnar Ginkgo Tree that has been commercially available for more than 100 years. This male cultivar has an upright, narrow, canonical crown adorned with fan-shaped leaves that develop a uniform gold-yellow hue in fall. Upright Maidenhair Tree grows well in medium moist, sandy, well-drained soils and full sun. It’s preferred for its excellent vertical form and ability to fit into tight spaces.
9. Menhir Maidenhair Tree
- Ginkgo biloba ‘menhir’
- Height: 16 ft
Menhir Maidenhair Tree is a deciduous Ginkgo with a compact, narrow, columnar, canonical crown. This tree is decked with lobed, flat, fan-shaped, mid-green leaves that turn bright yellow-gold in fall. It produces pendulous, catkin-like clusters of yellow male spring blossoms. This generally pest-resistant and disease-free tree grows well in full sun and free-draining soils.
10. Elmwood Maidenhair Tree
- Ginkgo biloba ‘elmwood’
- Height: 35 ft
Elmwood Maidenhair Tree is a deciduous, slow-growing, durable tree with a narrow, rigidly upright crown decked with distinctive, fan-shaped, emerald green leaves that turn yellow in fall. You can grow this low-maintenance tree as an accent plant, shade tree, or vertical tree. It’s a disease and pest-resistant tree that thrives in full sun and can live up to the ripe old age of 150 years and beyond.
11. Potter Pete Maidenhair Tree
- Ginkgo biloba ‘potter pete’
- Height: 8-20 ft
Potter Pete Maidenhair Tree is a deciduous, dwarf conifer with a columnar form. This tree is adorned with green, broad, fan-shaped, curved, lobed leaves. Potter Pete Maidenhair Tree grows well in full sun to lightly shaded locations and a wide variety of free-draining soils. It needs to be watered regularly for excellent growth.
12. Weeping Wonder Maidenhair Tree
- Ginkgo biloba weeping wonder
- Height: 4-6 ft
Also known as Mutant Weeper, Weeping Wonder Maidenhair Tree is a narrow, upright tree with random branches growing in different directions. The leaves of this plant are a bit thicker than typical Ginkgo leaves. The foliage is chartreuse colored and develops a gold-yellow color in fall. This pollution-resistant tree grows well in average, free-draining soils and full sun.
13. Kohout Weeping Maidenhair Tree
- Ginkgo biloba ‘kohout pendula’
- Height: 4-8 ft
Kohout Weeping Maidenhair Tree is a pendulous, top-grafted, male Ginkgo with a variable form and umbrella-shaped, horizontal, and drooping branching. It features a mix of deeply divided, lace-like, light to medium green leaves and tube leaves that turn bright yellow-gold in fall. Kohout Weeping Maidenhair Tree thrives in full sun and a wide variety of free-draining soils.
14. Boleslaw Chrobry Maidenhair Tree
- Ginkgo biloba boleslaw chrobry
- Height: 4 ft
Boleslaw Chrobry Maidenhair Tree is an uncommon tree in the US. This deciduous tree features an irregular, elegant, weeping crown adorned with large, fringed, green leaves that turn resplendent yellow in fall. You can plant this compact specimen in a rock garden. It thrives in full sun and free-draining soils.
15. Folkert’s Select Maidenhair Tree
- Ginkgo biloba ‘folkert’s
- Height: 10-15 ft
Folkert’s Select Maidenhair Tree is an upright, deciduous tree with small, thick, deeply incised, medium green leaves that turn bright golden-yellow in fall. You can grow this compact specimen in a container on your patio and as a bonsai. This tree thrives in full sun and a wide variety of free-draining soils.
16. Golden Colonnade® Ginkgo
- Ginkgo biloba ‘golden colonnade’
- Height: 45 ft
Introduced by J. Frank Schmidt & Son Co. of Oregon, Golden Colonnade® Ginkgo is a large deciduous tree with a narrow, oval crown. This is a male clone that does not produce smelly fruits. You can plant it as a shade tree or an ornamental specimen. It features distinctively attractive golden-yellow fall foliage. Golden Colonnade® Ginkgo thrives in full sun and moderately wet, free-draining soils.
17. Halka Ginkgo Maidenhair Tree
- Ginkgo biloba halka
- Height: 45 ft
Halka Ginkgo Maidenhair Tree is a durable and adaptable tree that thrives in full sun and moist, free-draining soils. It’s popularly planted for its brilliant, bright, gold-yellow fall foliage, this disease-resistant, slow-growing tree features dense, uniform branches which create a symmetrical canopy. The habitat is pyramidal but turns oval with age. This hardy tree is a male specimen that does no flower.
18. Magyar Maidenhair Tree
- Ginkgo biloba magyar
- Height: 60 ft
Discovered growing in front of Magyar Bank in New Brunswick, New Jersey, Magyar Maidenhair Tree is a male Ginkgo. This tree has a narrow, upright form with ascending branches adorned with green leaves. The foliage turns showy golden-yellow in fall. This tree features non-showy, greenish male blooms in spring. Magyar Maidenhair Tree is a slow-growing tree that needs full sun and free-draining soils to thrive.
19. Presidential Gold® Maidenhair Tree
- Ginkgo biloba presidential gold
- Height: 50 ft
Presidential Gold® Maidenhair Tree is a male Ginkgo clone that does not produce its distinctive smelly fruits. It features a dense, full-branching crown decked with green, fan-shaped leaves that turns outstanding gold-yellow in fall. This drought-tolerant, slow-growing, pollution-resistant tree grows well in a city environment. You can grow it in full sun as a garden centerpiece or shade tree.
20. Liberty Splendor Maidenhair Tree
- Ginkgo biloba ‘liberty splendor’
- Height: 25-30 ft
Liberty Splendor Maidenhair Tree is an upright, female Ginkgo Tree with an excellent pyramidal form. It produces edible fruits that you can roast like chestnuts. The fruits are considered an Asian delicacy. This tree features golden-yellow fall foliage. Liberty Splendor Maidenhair Tree thrives in full sun and a wide variety of free-draining soils.
21. Golden Globe Maidenhair Tree
- Ginkgo biloba ‘golden globe’
- Height: 40-50 ft
Golden Globe Maidenhair Tree is an outstanding Ginkgo Tree with a rounded crown decked with light to dark green leaves that turn consistently gold-yellow in fall. All Golden Globe Maidenhair Trees are male, i.e., they will not produce fruits. These hardy, slow-growing trees grow well in full sun and adequately moist, free-draining soils.
22. Shangri-La Maidenhair Tree
- Ginkgo biloba ‘Shangri-la’
- Height: 55 ft
Shangri-La Maidenhair Tree is a compact, well-branches tree with a balanced, dense crown. Discovered by Willet N. Wandell in 1963 in Urbana, Illinois, this male specimen features fan-shaped, rich green to blue-green leaves that develop a brilliant bright yellow color in fall. It also grows dangling catkins of non-showy spring blooms.
23. Umbrella/Santa Cruz Maidenhair Tree
- Ginkgo biloba ‘santa cruz’
- Height: 15 ft
Native to China, Santa Cruz Maidenhair Tree is a deciduous male tree with a broad, umbrella-shaped, wide-spreading crown. It features flat, broad leaves with distinctive parallel venation. The foliage turns gold-yellow in fall. The older bark of this tree develops gray-brown ridges with dark furrows. This tree thrives in full sun and free-draining soils.