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.
A ginkgo in Neil Sperry’s backyard