Posted by ILPARW
(southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Oct 11, 2018 2:29 PM concerning plant:
This Maidenhair-tree is a living fossil that has fossils going back to about 270 million years, really unchanged. Botanists are still checking out fossils of what looks like several species of Ginkgo. About 144 million years ago was the greatest diversity of this genus. In the Tertiary Period of about 65 million years ago, one source says that there were four species left of Gingo biloba, G. adiantoides, G. gardneri in Scotland, and G. jiayinensis. Ginkgo disappeared from North America about 7 million years ago and from Europe about 2.5 million years ago. I think that Ginkgo biloba was found growing in places all over the Northern Hemisphere, but just survived in two valleys in China. Chinese monks were growing it about 1100 AD and spread it to Korea and Japan. A German botanist, Kaempfer, discovered it in southern Japan for western science and used a Japanese name for it, though he was a little off on the real word for "silver apricot." Ginkgo is commonly planted over a good part of the world with a number of different cultivars. In the Midwestern & Eastern US it tends to be used more in parks, campuses, business & industrial parks, and as a street tree in parkways and in sidewalk wells than in most people's yards. It grows about 1 foot/year or maybe a little more as a younger tree. In nature in China there are trees about 3,000 years old. It is easy to transplant and to establish. Ginkgo likes moist, well-drained soil that can be acid or neutral in reaction. It is grown and sold by many larger nurseries. In landscapes in eastern North America it usually grows about 6o feet high by 30 to 40 feet. I was looking at a wholesale nursery catalogue of a large nursery in Hinsdale, IL and Ginkgo is the most expensive shade tree to buy, more than a Crimson King Norway Maple or a Bur Oak. It is dioecious with separate male and female plants. The female plant bears the naked seed covered by a fleshy covering so it looks like a brown plum, and it stinks like vomit when the fallen fruit begins to rot. East Asian people like to eat some seeds as a delicacy. For landscape situations, nurseries grow male plants and male cultivars so that there won't be stinky, rotting fruit in November-December. It takes 20 to 50 years for a tree to produce seed or pollen, so sometimes nurseries have gotten it wrong and I've sometimes seen rotting fruit on sidewalks, pavement, parkways, and lawn, though, they are getting better at separation.