1) 20 years ago I planted a grafted male Gingko tree. THis fall after all
the leaves had fallen, I noticed a single fruit way up high. Can a grafted
male tree produce fruit? or did I pay for something I didnt get?
2) Not really gardening but maybe someone knows: last weeks "THis old House"
dealt with midcentury modern houses and they toured a typical house. During
the tour of the garden, a comment was made about how a Gingko Tree was
quite common in the gardens of midcentury modern houses. No futher expansion
on that comment followed. Why are Gingko trees common in the gardens of
midcentury modern houses? of course after watching the show, I now know I
live in a midcentury modern house and yes I do have a Ginko tree (other than
the one I planted).
As far as I know, Ginkos are not bi-sexual, so let's hope you are seeing
something other than a fruit from a female tree. The fact that the tree
was grafted is probably more favorable to a male tree, as I don't know
who would bother to propagate a female tree.
No thoughts on the midcentury modern houses connection. Ginko trees
must have been a novelty in those days, and a nice addition to any garden.
I am growing two Ginkos in my parkway now which if they can survive
the salt trucks, will probably outlive me'.
As I recall, it may take a long time (20+ years) before gingko trees start
producing fruit. Maybe your tree is just starting to mature and you will
have more fruit next year. Lucky you! (not)
The comment about the tree may not be accurate in terms of its association
with mid-century architecture. The gingko is definitely associated with the
craftsman-style or mission-style and the leaf is featured in fabric and
wallpaper motifs as well as on decorative carvings and in pottery.
Male trees produce sexual bodies also. If the single fruit contains a
nut similar to a chestnut and smells like vomit when you step on it,
then it is a female fruit.
The Japanese and Chinese loved Gingko nuts. They said the fruit smelled
like hell but the nuts tasted like heaven. The Gingko tree was
introduced to the US in 1784 by William Hamilton in Philadelphia. When
the original tree that was imported from Japan flowered it was found to
have male flowers only, and consequently all trees propagated by
cuttings were male also. In the late 1800s seeds were introduced to the
US which produced female plants. It became the favorite tree of
architect Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) and made its way into city
landscapes across North America. The most famous Gingko Tree in the US
was The Frank Lloyd Wright Ginkgo which stood in front of the home he
built and lived in for 20 years in Oak Park, Illinois, until it
succumbed to a storm in 1992. The Frank Lloyd Wright preservation trust
in Chicago calls their gift shop the Gingko Tree. Descendants of the
Frank Lloyd Gingko are still available today.
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Cheers, Steve Henning in Reading, PA USA
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