Hillier Trees | Ginkgo biloba | Maidenhair Tree
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Royal Horticultural Society

World Record Holder for Gold Medals at RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Ginkgo biloba

"Maidenhair Tree"

Common Name

"Maidenhair Tree"


10m high x 5m wide after 25 years.


A tough tree that will establish in any soil structure with good drainage. It thrives when well-watered and in full exposure to light. Ideally suited for urban locations, tolerating a crammed compacted rooting space, road salt and city pollution. They rarely suffer any pest or disease issues ensuring its establishment in difficult areas of hard standing. Well suited for carparks, avenue planting and providing ornamental value in parklands.


Whilst young, the canopy is a narrow pyramidal form with open branches. It broadens as it matures, expanded wider becoming a dominate feature on the landscape.


Its unique fan shaped leaf opens a vivid apple green in clusters of 3-5. These develop a fantastic autumn colour of royal gold and butter yellow. The canopy sheds all its foliage in a matter of days, delicately snowing its brilliant yellow leaves whilst covering its location in a sea of gold.

The national tree of China and a favourite amongst landscapers the world over. Although it is a deciduous tree, it is botanically exclusive and classed as a conifer which dates back to the Jurassic period 270 million years ago.

Its unique fan shaped leaf catch the slightest of summer breezes, calmly fluttering along its branches. Two veins enter the leaf blade, which radiate out to its fan edge like subtle brushstrokes of watercolour green. Some leaves will develop further dividing down the centre of the fan, slightly bisecting. The name biloba is named from Bis meaning two, and loba meaning lobed, referring to the shape and split of the leaves. The appearance of the leaf is similar to Adiantum capillus-veneris, the maidenhair fern which is what provides its common name.

Renowned for its stunning autumn beauty, the Gingko is prized for its gold, saffron-yellow foliage. When planted and matured along avenues, the autumn snow of its golden leaves is breathtakingly beautiful. It can transform mediocre roadways into glorious avenues of international recognition.

The female Ginkgo produces fruit which falls in the autumn. These are cherished throughout Asia and used to create the vegetarian dish Buddhas delight. Once they fall and decompose, they produce a pungent unpleasant aroma. Unfortunately, it is not possible to tell whether it is male or female until the tree has grown into maturity. If the tree was grafted, a male has been known to revert to female. Hillier Ginkgo trees are grown from seedlings which favours the odds in that if the variety is male, it will continue to mature as male without fruiting.