Ginkgo Tree (Ginkgo biloba) 銀杏/公孫樹
Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba)is a very interesting tree which has extremely long life span. Easily live over a thousand years! USDA Zones:3-9. Mature size:40′-70′(H) x 30′-50′(W). Easy to grow in full sun location.
Male tree and female tree are just a little bit different. Female trees in fall bear fruit, male trees do not. Before they are mature enough to flower and fruit, you actually can tell the gender of tree by checking it leaves. For easy memory aid, just remember ‘skirts are for female, pants are for male’. Female tree leaves has fan shape like skirts. Male tree leaves has cleft which looks like pants. Sometimes a tree has both kind of leaves but you can tell the ratio is very different.
Female tree drop mature fruit which have strong odour, some countries actually ban from planting female ginkgo. Although inside the strong smell fruit is valuable ginkgo nut. In Asia its seeds has been used widely for food and medicine.
What if you wanted a male tree but got a female tree instead? Well, ‘she’ is as beautiful as a ‘he’, so when she fruits, just give the fruit away to your Asian neighbour if they has use for it. Some said soak the fruits in alcohol can turn the odour to apple/pineapple fruit pleasant fragrance. Chemical reaction! If you are planning to get your neighbour’s free fallen ginkgo fruit, please remember use rubber gloves and garbage bag. And get the nuts out from fruit outdoor! You can bury the smelly flesh of fruit under ground deep to get rid of odour once you are done. If bring them in a car, remember to seal the bag… You can wash off the odour with strong tea, if somehow you touched the fruit with bare hands.
If you are going to plant a ginkgo tree from a seed, pick a male nut to plant! What, you say? Yes, you can tell nut is a male or female by the nut has two edges or three. The quantity of three-edged nuts is about 4% of the all nuts. A three-edged nut means a ‘she’ nut. In the Asian market, female tree is more expansive than a male tree due to the female tree foliage is beautiful fan shape plus it is rare. This time I have collected 210 nuts and only 9 three-edged nuts among them!
銀杏是非常長壽的樹種之一,能輕易地活到上千年. 非常耐寒也耐熱. 成熟株高40-70呎,寬幅30-50呎. 容易種植於全日照處.
銀杏公樹和母樹的區別可以由樹葉的外觀來看,公樹的葉片有深刻,母樹則無深刻. 辨別口訣如:公樹葉如褲,母樹葉如裙. 雖然經觀察公樹偶有裙狀的母葉,母樹也偶有少量的公葉. 不過這還是以多數為主來辨別. 銀杏秋色為金黃,相當耀眼. 葉,果,木材均有相當的食用,藥用,木材等實用價值. 樹本身有很高的觀賞價值及環保功能.
母樹於秋末果實成熟轉黃,熟軟的果實有著濃烈的惡臭. 因此在某些國家/某些地區是不允許種植母樹的. 成熟果實最好避免與皮膚直接接觸, 否則臭味難以去除.. 若是沾到可以濃茶泡洗. 生的種子有少量的氰化物,有相當的毒性. 熟的種仁仍有小毒,可食但不可過量. 一般亞洲國家有吃銀杏去殼的熟種子(稱為白果)的食用習慣.
種植上有一說從種子可辨將成公樹或母樹. 2稜的種子為公樹(數量為96%),3稜的種子為母樹(數量為4%). 感謝有種母樹的住戶免費提供成熟果實用於實驗,總計取得210顆種子,其中僅有9顆種子為3稜的!