Hi - I was thinking of getting a gingko tree, as they intrique me as 'living fossils', but are they easy (or even possible!) to grow and look after, or are they beyond amateur gardeners like me?
Any advice appreciated! Thanks
They're quite slowin the early years but easily growable in the east anglian climate and my not very good soil.
I grew some from seed and they were so slow to get above a foot tall I gave them away.
The one I have now was several years old when it was given to me and had been cut back.
The only problem I have with it is persuading it to be a tree. It wants to grow horizontally, which it does now by 12 or more inches a year. It's reluctant to make a vertical leading shoot in spite of my ties and stakes. I've accepted it as a gingko bush now
Here in N Belgium there are several planted in the street which get virtually no maintenance as far as I can see. And there used to be one in the grounds of the school where I used to work in NW England. So I shouldn't worry overmuch. After all, they've survived for umpteen million years without oue help.
Ginkgo trees are living fossils that appear to have outlived their predators. They have few if any pests. Growth rate is affected by soil fertility [they appreciate a rich soil] and climate. They are winter hardy in most parts of Britain but need warm summers for good growth. So London is an excellent place to grow them whereas they will be very slow somewhere like the Lake district.
Jenny, if you do get a ginko, make sure it's not a female one, female ginkgo trees produce fruit-like seeds that are known to smell like rancid butter or vomit after falling from the tree.
Thank you all! That's most encouraging. And thank you for the warning about not getting a female tree!