Unusual & Old Fashioned Fruit Trees

 


 

 Gingko - Maidenhair

Gardening enthusiasts, will immediately think of the variety Ginkgo Biloba, which is the only variety normally seen here in the UK and it requires a sheltered position. However, there are many other varieties of Ginkgo that are fully hardy, down to minus 25 deg C, that come from China. Most varieties of the Maidenhair tree, to use their common name, are large trees that are genetically leftover from prehistoric times as they havenít changed much over the millennia. Ginkgoís are in fact deciduous Conifers that have broad leaves, about 5 inches across. Ginkgo trees will eventually grow up to some 100 ft high, although they may only reach about 10 feet after 10 years from seed as they are slow growing.

Ginkgo like a well drained position in full sun where their large, fan shaped leaves will happily develop. As with many Chinese plants its leaves are now used in modern medicine, but what many English people donít realise is that the Ginkgo family produce seeds that are about the size of hazelnuts and they are edible when roasted. Furthermore an edible oil can be obtained from the seeds making the Ginkgo a popular food crop in China. The drawback with growing the Ginkgo in a garden for its nuts/seeds is the sheer size of the tree and the fact that both sexes are needed for fruiting, although of course, it is only the female plant that sets seed. 

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