How to Prune a Ginkgo Tree

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The Ginkgo tree is thought to be the oldest living seed-producing plant, and they were common on earth 200 million years ago at the time of the dinosaurs. Some Ginkgo trees live to be 3,000 years old. In many parts of the world it is believed that extracts made from the leaf of the Ginkgo tree have many different health properties, and many people believe eating the seeds of the Ginkgo improves memory among other benefits. Today it is believed that no Ginkgo trees are left in the wild. Ginkgo trees benefit from pruning in the late fall or early winter.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Saw
  • Gloves
  • Eye protection
  • Prune only in late fall or early winter after trees have lost most of their leaves.

  • Remove all dead wood and any branches that appear diseased.

  • Cut all branches which cross the center of the tree. This opens the tree to light and air circulation.

  • Remove all branches less than 1/4 inch in diameter.

  • Remove all branches that are growing down.

  • Take a step or two back and assess the shape of the tree. Trim all branches just above a node that do not add to the pleasing shape of the tree.

  • Remove all cut branches and any rotted fruit under the tree to prevent infection to the tree.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wear gloves when cutting branches. Wear eye protection when cutting branches.
  • Never prune a Ginkgo tree in the spring when the tree is starting to bud and grow. Never cut or damage the bark on a Ginkgo tree as it heals very slowly. Older Ginkgo trees should only be pruned to remove dead or diseased branches.

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