Glorious Ginkgos

Super delighted that the three Ginkgo trees I bought and planted for Sally’s Herbal Natives seem to be thriving. The planting stock originated in The Netherlands and was supplied to us as bare root plants by Paramount Plants of Enfield. When the plants arrived, I was concerned by the extent of root pruning undertaken at the nursery which was reflected in the long period that elapsed between planting and the emergence of the first leaves. I shouldn’t have worried: Nelda Matheny & Jim Clark describe the species as ‘Tolerant of root pruning’ in their book ‘Trees and Development’ (1998). That the trees are now thriving in the heat of summer and following a difficult spring is testimony to the remarkable hardiness of this species.

Ginkgo biloba is an ancient species: their leaves have been found in the fossil record dating back to the Early Jurassic period (200 million years ago). They’re a good choice for amenity planting provided you get male plants; female plants produce soft fruits that create an unpleasant smelly mess on pavements. The plants are hardy, pollution tolerant, not particularly prone to diseases, suitable for a wide variety of soils and moisture conditions and make a reasonably compact crown. They’re a good way to introduce climate resilience into the tree stock as they can tolerate warmer conditions than our native tree species. Of interest to Sally are Ginkgo’s herbal benefits: leaves are rich in antioxidants and are said to have anti-inflammatory properties. They also are said to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. Most plantings I’ve carried out have been for business clients and I’ve rarely been able to see the results as time has gone on. I’m looking forward to seeing how these characters get on over the next few years.

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