Landscaping & Nursery Information for Home Gardeners


Ginkgo trees are dioecious, meaning each plant has flowers of only one sex. Male trees will produce flowers, but not fruit. Female trees are the only ones that produce the fruit and seed.

The only way to determine the sex of a ginkgo tree is to wait until the plants bloom. Male trees will produce an abundance of pollen in the spring.

Female flowers will have a single pistil in each flower.

Many trees produced at nurseries are grafted male trees. Buds are removed from male trees and grafted on to the rootstock of a seedling ginkgo, eventually becoming the top growth. Tree will usually be marked as "grafted male trees".


Ginkgo trees will produce an edible nut, similar in taste to an almond when roasted.

Unfortunately, the female tree will produce a fruit coating surrounding the nut. When ripe, the fruit falls from the tree and proceeds to rot immediately, producing an odor similar to a sick school kid.

Squirrels seem oblivious to the smell and harvest the nuts quickly.

Harvest the nuts. Let dry several weeks in a well-ventilated location. Crack and roast like almonds or sunflower seeds.

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