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Common Name:

Ginkgo or Maidenhair Tree

Scientific Name:

Ginkgo biloba

Family Name:



Ginkgo is a much storied deciduous broadleaved conifer that is widely planted in cool / cold temperate climates worldwide. Its unique duck-foot shaped bright green leaves turn a handsome golden color in autumn. While renown for its urban tolerance in many regions, it prefers a well drained deep fertile soil in Texas and seldom reaches the proportions here that it does elsewhere. The gangly look of youth gives way to a picturesque stout trunk with spreading gnarled branches in old age, truly a wise investment for our grandchildren's landscapes. Use only male clones in high traffic areas as the fruit on female trees is malodorous.

Plant Habit or Use:

Medium tree, large tree



Flower Color:

Green, inconspicuous, dioecious

Blooming Period:


Fruit Characteristics:

Plum-shaped naked seed with a soft bloom-covered fleshy portion over a white bony nut-like structure, interior is edible, fleshy exterior is horribly malodorous


30 ft to 50 ft in Texas landscapes, to 100 ft in more hospitable climates


30 ft to 60 ft

Earth–Kind® Index:

  • Heat Tolerance: High Heat Tolerance
  • Water Requirements: Low Water Use
  • Soil Requirements: Low Soil Requirements
  • Pest Tolerance: High Pest Resistance
  • Fertility Requirements: Low Fertility Requirements
Explanation of the Earth–Kind® Index breakdown

Firewise Index

Explanation of the Firewise Index numerical value

USDA Hardiness Zones:

4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Regions that intersect these hardiness zones:
Region A - Panhandle and High Plains Region B - North and Central Texas Region C - Northeast and East Texas Region D - West Texas Region E - Upper Rio Grande Region F - Hill Country and Central Coast Region G - Southeast Texas Region H - Rio Grande Valley
Click image for enlarged map of USDA Hardiness Zones

Additional Comments:

Does not tolerate heavy clay soils in our warm climates, particularly when they become saturated after summer rains.
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A Special Note about Cool Season Annuals

Cool season annuals typically are planted in the fall or early winter and flower in early spring under moderate temperatures. This group of plant materials includes: pansies, snapdragons, violas, dianthus, flowering cabbage/kale, etc. Because cool season annuals flower in the spring when conditions are mild, most have limited heat tolerance.

As a result cool season annuals do not receive a high Earth–Kind® index despite their outstanding landscape qualities.