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Growing Ginkgo Trees

Where Does Ginkgo Biloba Grow?

The first question that arises in mind is where does Ginkgo Biloba grow? Although the tree is from China, where it is known, among other names, as yin hsing (silver apricot), the name ginkgo is from archaic Japanese gin-kyo. Fossil leaves are found in Asia, Australia, Europe, and America. Ginkgo Biloba has been known as the oldest living species of trees with its roots as far as 270 million years in the world.

Even the single living tree can be as old as 3000 years or so, one is reported in Shandong province in China. Their strength and resistance came in notice specifically in Hiroshima, Japan where four specimens of trees were found even after the drastic blast of an atom bomb.

A combination of resistance to disease, insect-resistant wood and the ability to form aerial roots and sprouts makes ginkgos very long-lived. Ginkgo Biloba habitat is very temperate and can easily be grown to most of the parts of the world.

Ginkgo Biloba trees grow dioeciously hence making male and females grow separately. The female tree produces ovules in pairs on stalks. Ginkgo Biloba seedlings are open (naked) as it is classified as a gymnosperm. The Ginkgo Biloba seed has silvery coating.

The Ginkgo Biloba seed's fleshy seed-coat has a disagreeable odor similar to that of a rancid butter when it decays and fall to the ground. Each ovule contain an egg cell which appear very green at the onset but eventually changes its color from greenish-yellow to finally orange and brown. These ovules can take up to 20-35 years to appear.

They appear in spring because the sunny position makes them more reliable. Pollen cones similar to catkin which contains the sperms of the male tree also grow on spring after 20-35 years. The sperm are large almost about 250-300 micro meters. And are almost like the sperm of cycads, which are slightly larger.

The sperm have a complex multi-layered structure, which is a continuous belt of basal bodies that form the base of several thousand flagella which actually have a cilia-like motion. The flagella/cilia apparatus pulls the body of the sperm forwards. Pollination is made possible by the wind. The actual fertilization of Ginkgo Biloba seed occurs on the tree.

When embryos are made, they fell off to the ground with the help of wind and are hence planted in a new location; wherever the wind takes. Growing Ginkgo Biloba is a bit demanding process as it needs too much time and the reproductive cycle is very slow. Both male and female trees take about 25 to 30 years to become mature enough to start producing sperms and ovum.

Even when they are grown the process of fertilization is complex, as the male and female plants are separate. For successful fertilization they have to be grown in near vicinity otherwise no chance!!

But once the plant is grown, it is very easy to maintain it. It is not a demanding plant. Resistant to extreme temperatures, strong roots, strong stem.

If it can survive after an atom bomb attack in Hiroshima than it can survive any where!!!