Ginkgo biloba - The Maidenhair Tree
Lee Squires, Secretary Treasurer, Superintendent, Cave Hill Cemetery
Introduced into the U.S. in 1784 from China, the Ginkgo is one of our most interesting trees and is the oldest living tree known to man. Ginkgo fossil remains date back 150 million years. It is nearly insect and disease resistant with the Omnivorous Looper being the only insect pest. Of course, omnivores will eat anything.
The Ginkgo has male and female flowers on separate trees (dioeciously) which contributes to its uniqueness. The Ginkgo is known for its foul smelling fruit, which appears in early October only on female trees. The seed pulp contains butyric acid, which occurs naturally in fermenting foods. The pulp emits a most rancid odor. The Asians eat the almond-like seed that is inside the pulp. They are called “silver nuts”. This gives the Ginkgo the distinction of being the oldest living nut tree.
Many people state that they wouldn’t plant a Ginkgo because of the fruit. The male tree is fruitless and there are many grafted male trees on the market from which to choose. The beautiful yellow fall color, the unusual, fan-shaped, leathery leaf, and its hardiness in Kentucky make it an excellent choice for the landscape. It should be planted in more yards throughout the country.
Cave Hill’s largest Ginkgo is growing in Section N and has a trunk circumference of nearly 18 feet with a massive branch spread. Unique in its own right, this 170-year-old tree was born a male and did not produce fruit. In the early 1970’s this tree grew a female branch in the top, which now produces prolific fruit. Trees with male and female flowers on the same tree (monoecious) are rare in the Ginkgo family. So, Cave Hill’s tree is one of the only monoecious Ginkgos in existence.
Ginkgos are not fussy as to soil conditions and even make good street trees. Their fruit has given them a bad reputation. These remarkable trees are hardy over much of the country, USDA Zones 3-9.
By Kate Karam, Monrovia,
Photographs courtesy of Monrovia
It’s not only coastal gardens that have to deal with persistent winds – inland gardens at higher altitudes and those in flat, wind-prone areas get regularly battered, too. Since there’s nothing good about plants stripped of their foliage or rendered dry and desiccated by a gale force tempest, the solution might be as simple as using specimens that are just fine with it. Here are a few we recommend. But first, some advice.
Join fellow garden lovers, history buffs and music enthusiasts to discover the quaint towns and colorful gardens of Holland and Belgium in May of 2018.
This exciting journey will be hosted by nationally known host Eric Johnson, of Public Television's blockbuster show GardenSmart. Your river cruise begins in Amsterdam where you'll see works by Rembrandt and Van Gogh, Anne Frank's House, and see the city's most famous gardens. Then spend a full morning on the grounds of the most beautiful spring garden in the world-Keukenhof! Visit the picturesque Belgian towns of Bruges and Ghent as well as Kinderdijk, with the Netherlands' iconic collection of 19 authentic windmills that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In addition, history buffs will experience a captivating tour of the WWI trenches of Flanders and WWII Arnhem Battlefield of A Bridge Too Far fame. You won't want to miss this extraordinary garden adventure to Holland and Belgium.
Book by November 15, 2017 and save up to $1200 dollars per person!
To register call:
Alki Tours at 800-895-2554
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