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Publication #ENH433

Ginkgo biloba 'Autumn Gold': 'Autumn Gold' Maidenhair Tree1

Edward F. Gilman and Dennis G. Watson2

Introduction

This male cultivar of Ginkgo is practically pest-free, resistant to storm damage, and casts dense shade. It makes a durable street tree where there is enough overhead space to accommodate the large size. The shape is often irregular with a large branch or two seemingly forming its own tree on the trunk. But this does not detract from its usefulness as a city tree unless the tree will be growing in a restricted overhead space. If this is the case, select from the narrow upright cultivars such as `Princeton Sentry' and `Fairmont'. Ginkgo tolerates most soil, including compacted, and alkaline. The tree is easily transplanted and has a vivid yellow fall color which is second to none in brilliance, even in the south. However, leaves fall quickly and the fall color show is short. Unlike the species, the tree does not set fruit.

Figure 1. 

Middle-aged Ginkgo biloba 'Autumn Gold': 'Autumn Gold' Maidenhair Tree


Credit:

Ed Gilman


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

General Information

Scientific name: Ginkgo biloba
Pronunciation: GINK-go bye-LOE-buh
Common name(s): 'Autumn Gold' Maidenhair Tree, `Autumn Gold' Ginkgo
Family: Ginkgoaceae
USDA hardiness zones: 3A through 8A (Fig. 2)
Origin: not native to North America
Invasive potential: little invasive potential
Uses: urban tolerant; street without sidewalk; specimen; highway median; sidewalk cutout (tree pit); parking lot island 100-200 sq ft; parking lot island > 200 sq ft; Bonsai; tree lawn 3-4 feet wide; tree lawn 4-6 feet wide; tree lawn > 6 ft wide
Availability: not native to North America

Figure 2. 

Range


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Description

Height: 25 to 50 feet
Spread: 25 to 35 feet
Crown uniformity: symmetrical
Crown shape: oval
Crown density: moderate
Growth rate: fast
Texture: medium

Foliage

Leaf arrangement: alternate (Fig. 3)
Leaf type: simple
Leaf margin: lobed
Leaf shape: fan-shaped
Leaf venation: parallel, palmate
Leaf type and persistence: deciduous
Leaf blade length: 2 to 4 inches
Leaf color: green
Fall color: yellow
Fall characteristic: showy

Figure 3. 

Foliage


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Flower

Flower color: green
Flower characteristics: not showy

Fruit

Fruit shape: no fruit
Fruit length: no fruit
Fruit covering: no fruit
Fruit color: no fruit
Fruit characteristics: no fruit

Trunk and Branches

Trunk/bark/branches: branches don't droop; showy; typically one trunk; thorns
Pruning requirement: little required
Breakage: resistant
Current year twig color: brown, gray
Current year twig thickness: medium, thick
Wood specific gravity: unknown

Culture

Light requirement: full sun, partial sun or partial shade
Soil tolerances: sand; loam; clay; acidic; alkaline; well-drained; occasionally wet
Drought tolerance: high
Aerosol salt tolerance: moderate

Other

Roots: not a problem
Winter interest: yes
Outstanding tree: yes
Ozone sensitivity: unknown
Verticillium wilt susceptibility: resistant
Pest resistance: free of serious pests and diseases

Use and Management

Ginkgo may grow extremely slow for several years after planting, but will then pick up and grow at a rapid rate, particularly if it receives an adequate supply of water and some fertilizer. But do not overwater or plant in a poorly-drained area. Get grass away from several feet around the trunk to help the tree become established. Very tolerant of urban soils and pollution, Ginkgo could be used more in USDA hardiness zone 7 but is not recommended in central and southern Texas or Oklahoma due to summer heat. Adapted for use as a street tree, even in confined soil spaces. Some early pruning to form one central leader is essential.

There are several other cultivars: `Fairmont' - male, fruitless, upright, oval to pyramidal form; `Fastigiata' - male, fruitless, upright growth; `Laciniata' - leaf margins deeply divided; `Lakeview' - male, fruitless, compact broad conical form; `Mayfield' - male, upright fastigiate (columnar) growth; `Pendula' - pendent branches; `Princeton Sentry' - male, fruitless, fastigiate, narrow conical crown for restricted overhead spaces, popular, 65 feet tall, available in some nurseries; `Santa Cruz' - umbrella-shaped, `Variegata' - variegated leaves.

Propagation is by budding to seedling understock.

Pests and Diseases

This tree is pest-free and considered resistant to gypsy moth.

Footnotes

1.

This document is ENH433, one of a series of the Environmental Horticulture, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date November 1993. Revised December 2006. Reviewed February 2014. Visit the EDIS website at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu.

2.

Edward F. Gilman, professor, Environmental Horticulture Department; Dennis G. Watson, former associate professor, Agricultural Engineering Department, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.


The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.