Falls Best Yellow Tree

Ginkgo coming into fall color about 10 years old

Colorful fall leaves of ginkgo or maidenhair tree

Ginkgo is the brightest color of most fall trees. Also called maidenhair tree, ginkgo almost never misses on delivering great fall color. The one shown above is in my front yard and is sitting on an under bed of rock in about 10 inches of soil at the most. While I think ginkgos are easy to grow, there are several things you need to know to have a happy healthy tree. First, buy a straight tree, and I like to purchase one that at least has started branching. Two, make sure it is a male tree because the fruits really smell like dead fish. And finally, make sure you plant it in well drained soil, and as it grows it is in an area of the landscape that is on the dry side and does not stay wet. While some folks say they are slow growers, if given the right conditions they generally grow at a moderate pace. Plan on these trees getting big like like sugar maple in our area, and make sure it gets full sun. I especially like them in turf areas, as their roots are seldom a problem by coming to the surface. It is simply, to me, an outstanding tree with unique leaves and stem structure that looks good in every season.

John Floyd

John Floyd has been gardening--and learning about Birmingham area gardening--for more than 30 years. In addition to his day-to-day experience, John has degrees in horticulture from Auburn and Clemson Universities and was Editor-in-Chief of Southern Living.

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