Thursday, February 05, 2009

Pruning Ginkgo saplings

Shaping the young tree will avoid removing larger branches, later. This seed-grown Ginkgo is in prior photos on this blog, now about 7 feet tall. I removed the lower branches, and shortened a couple of the longer upper branches so that it would keep to a single lead. It's probably hard to see what was done, but that is the idea: shaping and prevention.

Ultimately, I want the lowest branches to start 5 or 6 feet above the ground. That way they are less likely to be climbed on by kids, and as they arch upward, they are unlikely to be in the way of vehicles on the street. I don't want to remove too much biomass, however, because the more leaves that it has, the faster it grows. SO this method is a compromise.

Before, the lower branches are small but this year are likely to become much thicker.

After. Later this winter the tree will be given a nice compost mulch, and be ready for another year of growth. I think of the 6-foot stage as the threshold to really looking like it will be a tree.

After 3 years of my lobbying, my workplace will be planting a tree on the grounds for Earth-day / Arbor Day (April 22 and 25). As the fervent tree-promoter that I am, I get to choose. How predictable am I? It will be a Ginkgo biloba. Since it is in a public place, of course, my seed grown trees wont do. They have a 50% chance of being female, and females are too likely to be cut down due to their stinky seed coats. A male has a better chance for a long life among pesky humans.


  1. Isn't it possible that even named male cultivars could switch up and become lady ginkgo's in time?

  2. I think that gender change has been noted in ginkgos but I can't remember for certain.

    It has happened when a named, male, cultivar is grafted onto a seedling that happened to be female, and the male scion either died or was overgrown by the flemale rootstock.

  3. Anonymous6:11 AM

    Which time f year is best for pruning the ginkgo? We live in Connecticut.