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Issue with my Ginkgo tree

weathercrazy48weathercrazy48 Posts: 6
edited July 2022 in Plants
Hey everyone, got a question for anyone that can help. I have a male Ginkgo tree that is still young. I planted it in 2017 and it has been an awesome addition to my front yard along side my October Glory maple. It's grown to be about 13 ft. I live in Central South Carolina (Columbia, SC), and for anyone who knows anything about this region, they know that it's one of the hottest places East of the Mississippi. haha

Below i have 5 pictures, one of them is a picture of my Ginkgo in full right after it fully bloomed earlier this year in April or May (bottom pic). The other 3 are photos i took this week showing the leaves beginning to fade to yellow (not all of the leaves are doing this) but i would say around 30-40% of the leaves on the tree are beginning to fade to yellow some at the tip of the leaves. None have went completely brown & curled. And i also put a pic of what the tree looks like during peak Fall Folliage! The tree did this last year also in Early August, but not as many leaves did this then. This Summer it's been happening in Early July so about a month early. But i will say, this Summer has been much hotter than last Summer, and we did have a dry stetch back in Early June. But i also have an irrigation system that waters the yard (including the tree) daily for 30 mins. So i wouldn't think lack of water would be an issue.

This Summer has been hotter than last so far like i said. We have already hit over a 100 degrees 4-5 days so far with several days in the upper 90s. We are in somewhat of a drought, but have picked up several inches of rain at my location over the last 7-10 days plus the continued watering of my irrigation system.

I know Ginkgo trees aren't common here in South Carolina, but still can grow as many parks through out the state have them in areas and they still thrive. I keep the mulch back from the bark of the tree. So the only three things i can think of is heat stress from our recent heat wave, overwatering, or underwatering (which i doubt) Both normally have the same affects on the leaves from what i read.

Also added a pic of last November when the Ginkgo showed off that beautiful yellow it's known for!

Any help would be awesome! i love this tree and want it to thrive, it's still young and maybe it's just more sensitive to the heat than more mature trees. But not sure.


  • GardenerSuzeGardenerSuze Posts: 5,040
    @weathercrazy48 Welcome.I am not a tree expert but my understanding it that by year three a new tree should be looking for it's own water and that artificially watering a tree can kill it as the roots come to the surface looking for water.
    I think weather conditions are more likely the cause your tree is approaching Autumn earlier. I would be interested in other forum members thoughts as this year we are getting an idea of the kind of temperatures you garden with.
    Building a garden is very personal. It's not quite the same as installing a boiler.
    James Alexander Sinclair 
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,645
    In order to encourage tree roots to go down deep to find their own water supply they need occasional drenching rather than frequent sprinkling as the latter just encourages roots to stay at the surface where they can fry in high temperatures.

    I have a much smaller gingko than yours and give it a 20litre can full of water once a week during heatwaves (37C/100F) and drought such as the one we're "enjoying" now.   We have also just cleared a 1.2m wide circle of soil around it after the original cardboard and mulch cover grew weeds that competed with the tree.
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,409
    Ginkgos are tough as hell. That doesn't mean the foliage is going to look perfect at all times though! Agree with the others that less frequent but DEEP watering is likely to be better for encouraging the tree to set down a good root system.
  • Thank you all who have commented so far. Seems like the general consensus is that it might be getting to much water. 
  • Silver surferSilver surfer Posts: 4,591
    Thank you all who have commented so far. Seems like the general consensus is that it might be getting to much water. 
    Sorry but in the ground it is virtually impossible to give a tree too much water.
    Especially in a very hot place. ( unless the soil is clay)

    Please do as recommended.
    1.  Remove the stones and remove the grass in an area round your tree as wide as the branches.
    2. Put 4"-6" layer of composted bark evenly  in a layer over that circle to suppress weeds and retain moisture. 
    3. Keep bark well away from the bark.
    4. I would water that bare area daily in your heat.....not just a sprinkle..a real soak to go down deep into the ground. eg. 30 mins a day with a hose...just for this tree.

    Your young tree is stressed and going into early autumn shut down.
    Perthshire. SCOTLAND .
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,645
    You are misreading @weathercrazy48.  A 30 minute daily sprinkle may do for grass but not for trees.  You need to give your tree at least 20 litres/4 gallons of water at least once a week and you need to widen that circle of stones to a much greater diametre and clear the grass from it so it is not competing with the tree.   A mulch of chipped bark, once the soil is thoroughly wet, will help keep down weeds and retain moisture in the soil. 
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Sorry misunderstood y’all. So I’ll widen the boarder by a substantial amount and make sure it’s watered deeply more. We’ve had a lot of Mother Nature rain over the last few weeks after a small drought. 

    Hearing mixed opinions with water also, some say maybe it’s to much, some say to little. But that’s why I came here, to hear from more experienced people. So thanks. Hopefully I’ll get the sucker back to normal soon.
  • Silver surferSilver surfer Posts: 4,591
    edited July 2022
    Sorry misunderstood y’all.
    Hopefully I’ll get the sucker back to normal soon.
    If you do as recommended....  it will help your tree  to develop good strong, healthy roots.
    Doing this will help it for next year and stop it going into autumn colours in July.
    Sadly it is too late to turn your tree green again this year.

    Perthshire. SCOTLAND .
  • Thanks again!
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