Ginkgo biloba – Traditional Medicine Tree

This family includes a single species, which now survives in the wild in only a small area in southwest China. Ginkgo biloba is a common ornamental in North America. Trees are dioecious with separate sexes, some being female and others being male. Sadly, all other species are going extinct. It is found in fossils dating back 270 million years. Ginkgo is practically pest-free, defiant to storm damage, and casts dense shade.
Ginkgo Leaf in Summer
Ginkgo Leaf in Summer
This tree was widely cultivated in human history and used in traditional medicine and source of food.  Male plants produce small pollen cones with sporophylls, while female plants do not produce cones.
It has significant importance in Japanese culture. It is the official tree of Tokyo, and the symbol of Tokyo is a ginkgo leaf. Even in Thailand, ginkgo seeds are served with boiled coconut flesh as a dessert.
The ginkgo’s stubbornness may be seen in Hiroshima, Japan, where six trees grew between one and two kilometers from the 1945 catastrophic atom bomb explosion.
Although all other plants and animals in the region were killed,. But the ginkgos, even charred, survived and were soon healthy again, among other hibakujumoku (trees that survived the blast).
Gingko is a durable street tree that provides sufficient overhead space to accommodate the large branch or two seemingly forming its own tree on the trunk. But this does not detract from its usefulness as a city tree unless the tree will be growing in a restricted overhead space. Ginkgo tolerates most soils, including compacted and alkaline ones.
The tree is easily transplanted and has a vivid yellow fall color, which is second to none in brilliance. However, leaves fall quickly, and the fall color shown is very short; unlike the species, the tree does not set fruit.

Ginkgo biloba or Maidenhair Tree

Ginkgo Tree Leaf in Fall
Ginkgo Tree Leaf in Fall
The Ginkgo biloba is commonly known as the Ginkgo or Maidenhair Tree. It has long been cultivated in China. Some planted trees at ancient temples are believed to be over 1,500 years old. The Ginkgo’s fan-shaped leaves are unlike those of any other tree. The woody pegs covering the branches identify it in the winter.
A deciduoustree is usually with a single straight trunk, up to 30 m tall and 100 cm in diameter; the crown is rounded or irregular. Bark gray, with short, irregular furrows. The twig is gray, bearing stubby, woody short shoots protruding up to 1 cm from the branch at regular intervals, each bearing a cluster of leaves and often a pollen cone or seed. The leaf is slightly leathery, fan-shaped, and has a pattern of radiating veins (not seen in any other tree).
The blade is 5–10 cm broad, light green, turning golden, and falling each winter. The pollen cone is born on short shoots, catkin-like. Naked seeds are more often than not only developing from a pair of ovules. This can be found at the tip of a slender stalk borne on short shoots. They appear plum-like, almond-shaped, and yellow to orange, about 2.5 cm long. Thus, the outer coating is soft and gives off a foul odor when it is ripe.

Habitat and Range

Ginkgo biloba also non as Maidenhair Tree
Ginkgo biloba, also known as Maidenhair Tree
Gingko is a common ornament in temperate climates. Thus, there are many unconfirmed reports of naturalization in the U.S. Millions of years ago, members of the Gingo family were common around the world. But they now occur in the wild in only a small area of China. The name, meaning “silver seed,” is from Chinese.
Various tissues of the plant are toxic or are used medicinally, primarily in naturopathic and Chinese traditional medicine. Ginkgo’s are popular for growing as Penjing and bonsai kept artificially small and tended over centuries.
Apart from being striking landscape trees in general, Ginkgos are very resistant to air pollution and are usually planted in cities. However, the female plants are unwanted due to the unlikable odor given off by the ripe seeds.
The oldest and one of the largest Ginkgos in North America was planted in 1789. This can be seen at Longwood Gardens in Pa.; its trunk exceeds 4 m in girth Seed autumn leaf. If you want to grow Ginkgos, then it is easy to propagate from seed.

Health Benefits of Ginkgo Tree

Ginkgo biloba contains powerful antioxidants, which fight the harmful effects of free radicals and may be behind most of its health claims.
Ginkgo biloba contains powerful antioxidants, which fight the harmful effects of free radicals and may be behind most of its health claims.
The Ginkgo biloba, or maidenhair tree, is sometimes referred to as a living fossil. Modern research primarily focuses on ginkgo extract, which is made from the leaves. These days, Ginkgo supplements are associated with many health claims, mainly focusing on brain function and blood circulation.
It is used in the treatment of peripheral vascular disease and ’cerebral insufficiency. Gingko Biloba is a pharmaceutical treatment; there is the potential to mask active treatment. However, the tree has a characteristic bitter taste that is difficult to mask.
  1. Ginkgo biloba contains powerful antioxidants, which fight the harmful effects of free radicals and may be behind most of its health claims.
  2. Ginkgo biloba treats Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. The chances of it helping seem to increase when used alongside conventional treatment.
  3. Ginkgo treats respiratory diseases because of its anti-inflammatory properties.
  4. Ginkgo’s anti-inflammatory properties give it the potential to treat depression and may help in anxiety. This is likely due to its antioxidant content.
  5. Ginkgo has the ability to increase blood flow and reduce inflammation, making it an effective treatment for some types of headaches.
  6. Ginkgo may improve mental performance in healthy people.
  7. Supplementing ginkgo may increase blood flow to the eyes but not necessarily improve vision.
  8. Gingo can increase blood flow by promoting the dilation of blood vessels. This may have applications for the treatment of diseases related to poor circulation
  9. Ginkgo has the ability to reduce inflammation caused by a variety of conditions.
  10. The tree may help treat both the physical and psychological symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.
  11. Ginkgo improves symptoms of sexual dysfunction due to its impact on blood flow.

Potential Side Effects

It’s important to talk to your doctor before including ginkgo in your regimen. The risk associated with taking ginkgo is relatively low, but in some cases, it can cause serious harm. Here are some possible side effects of Ginkgo.
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Stomach pain
  • Rash/allergic reaction
  • Bleeding, such as subdural hematoma and hyphaema

General Information of Ginkgo Biloba

  • Scientific name: Ginkgo biloba, ‘Autumn Gold’
  • Pronunciation: GINK-go bye-LOE-buh Common name(s): ‘Autumn Gold’ Maidenhair Tree, ‘Autumn Gold’ Ginkgo
  • Family: Ginkgoaceae
  • Origin: not native to North America
  • Height: 25 to 50 feet
  • Spread: 25 to 35 feet Crown uniformity: symmetrical canopy with a regular (or smooth) outline, and individuals have more or less identical crown forms
  • Crown shape: oval Crown density: moderate
  • Growth rate: fast
  • Texture: medium
  • Leaf type: simple
  • Leaf margin: lobed
  • The shape of Leaf: fan-shaped
  • Leaf venation: parallel; palmate
  • Leaf type and persistence: deciduous
  • Length of Leaf blade: 2 to 4 inches
  • Leaf color: green
  • Fall color: yellow
  • Fall characteristic: showy
  • Flower color: green
  • Flower characteristics: pleasant fragrance; inconspicuous and not showy; spring flowering
  • Trunk/bark/branches: grow mostly upright and will not droop; showy trunk; should be grown with a single leader; no thorns Pruning requirement: needs little pruning to develop a strong structure
  • Breakage: resistant Current year twig color: brown; gray
  • Current year twig thickness: medium; thick
  • Light requirement: a tree grows in part shade or part sun; the tree grows in full sun
  • Soil tolerances: clay; loam; sand; acidic; foliage of ‘Autumn Gold’ Maidenhair Tree. occasionally wet; alkaline; well-drained
  • Drought tolerance: high
  • Aerosol salt tolerance: moderate
  • Soil salt tolerance: poor
  • Roots: surface roots are usually not a problem
  • Winter interest: the tree has winter interest due to its unusual form, nice persistent fruits, showy winter trunk, or winter flowers
  • Outstanding tree: the tree has outstanding ornamental features and could be planted more
  • Invasive potential: little, if any, the potential at this time
  • Verticillium wilt susceptibility: not known to be susceptible
  • Pest resistance: no pests are normally seen on the tree

How to Grow a Ginkgo Tree?

Ginkgo may grow very slowly for a number of years after planting. But after that, the tree will then pick up and grow at a rapid rate, particularly if it receives an adequate supply of water and some fertilizer. Make sure you do not overwater or plant in a poorly-drained area. Get grass away from several feet around the trunk to help the tree become established.
The ginkgo tree is very tolerant of urban soils and pollution. Ginkgo could be used more in USDA hardiness zone 7 but is not recommended in central and southern Texas or Oklahoma due to summer heat. It is adapted for use as a street tree, even in confined soil spaces. Some early pruning to form one central leader is essential.
Ginkgo biloba tree in Luxembourg City remarkable Gingko at place Dargent.
Ginkgo biloba tree in Luxembourg City is remarkable Gingko at place, Dargent.

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