GINKGO

Star-Telegram - - Life & Arts - Neil Sperry hosts“Texas Gar­den­ing” from 8 to 10 a.m. Sun­days on WBAP/820 AM. Reach him dur­ing those hours at 800-288-9227. On­line: http://neilsperry.com.

third or fourth tree in a large land­scape. They’re great near pa­tios since the only mess the male se­lec­tions make comes at their fairly rapid leaf drop in the fall.

My two trees are grow­ing in “high shade,” that is, be­neath very tall pe­can trees. I’m not sure I’d rec­om­mend plant­ing a ginkgo in hot, di­rect sun­light in our part of the South­west. That might run the risk of sun­scald and edge burn to the leaves. They seem to ben­e­fit from a lit­tle shade in the af­ter­noon. (Who among us doesn’t!)

When is the best time to buy and plant your new ginkgo? Right now would be great. Nurs­eries still have them, al­though you’ll prob­a­bly have the best luck if you shop at in­de­pen­dent re­tail gar­den cen­ters rather than the big na­tional chains. Call ahead to ask. The plants are great im­pulse items when their leaves are in full color, so sup­plies sell out soon.

Be­cause your tree will have been grafted, and be­cause gink­goes are slow-grow­ing trees, you new plant will likely be more ex­pen­sive than other trees of its size. Don’t let that scare you away, though. You’re go­ing to have it for many years. In­vest in a 10 or 20 gal­lon spec­i­men. Trans­port it home in the back of a van or cov­ered trailer or wrap it to pro­tect its fo­liage. Carry it by its soil ball and plant it im­me­di­ately at the same depth at which it had been grow­ing in its nurs­ery con­tainer. Wa­ter it thor­oughly and stake and guy it if you think there’s any way it might tip.

NEIL SPERRY Spe­cial to the Star-Tele­gram

A ginkgo in Neil Sperry’s back­yard

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