Ginkgo biloba 'Chi Chi' is a male Ginkgo, which forms a choice, fan shaped, multi-stemmed shrub making it a fabulous container plant or small garden specimen for the connoisseur. The name 'Chi Chi' roughly translates to 'breast' the name given to protrusions which can form on the stems from which leaves can sprout hence this plant is sometimes called 'Tit'! Has the usual ginkgo 'bi-lobed' leaves but they are slightly smaller than usual. Chi chi is slow growing but may reach 3-5 metres in 20 years. Grow in sun/part shade away from cold, drying winds. Deciduous, hardy.
- Position: Full sun to full shade out of cold, drying winds - especially coastal winds
- Soil: All soils, but avoid waterlogged areas very dry soils will need extra watering
- Eventual Size: 3 - 5 metres, but can be pruned
- Habit: Fan shaped shrub
- Foliage: Deciduous
- Common Names: Maidenhair Tree 'Chi Chi'
All forms of Ginkgo biloba are extremely hardy and tolerant of a wide range of conditions. If planting in the ground we recommend using good planting compost with root grow and keeping the soil moist but not waterlogged for the first 6 months. Thereafter an annual top dressing with a good fertilizer is beneficial but not essential. Pruning is not necessary except when shaping is required and this should take place in the dormant period.
If planting in a container, use ericaceous compost mixed with 10% John Innes no. 3 added and feed through the growing period with a good general fertiliser - we use organic seaweed extract. If possible, try to avoid the pot freezing for prolonged periods in the winter months. Re-pot every 2-3 years into the next sized container.
Ginkgo biloba is the sole survivor of a group of trees which grew on this planet over 200 million years ago and it has changed very little in all that time. It has survived all our planetary climatic changes and even survived the atomic bomb dropped at Hiroshima in the Second World War. This tree was the closest living organism to the epicentre of the bomb and although blown apart above the ground, sent shoots up after the war and now has a shrine dedicated to it at Hiroshima. It is a true survivor being very tough and untouched by any pests or diseases. Every part of the tree is used in Chinese folk medicine and it is gaining popularity in the West. Even without these attributes the Ginkgo makes a remarkable feature in any garden and is renowned for its spectacular yellow autumn colour. Often seen as a large tree in parks and gardens there are many varieties of Ginkgo biloba available. Some of these can easily be grown in a small garden. All are very well suited to container growing
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