The Ginkgo biloba or Maidenhair tree is a very unusual species. In appearance it resembles the deciduous or broadleaved trees but is in fact more closely related to the conifers. It is the sole surviving species from a genus that existed more than 160 million years ago. In the far east it is considered to be sacred.
The species is very hardy and can tolerate a wide range of conditions. In truth the growth characteristics do not really lend themselves to bonsai creation. It does not ramify well so is slow to develop complex branching. It does, however, justify it’s inclusion in a bonsai collection by the sheer unusualness of the species but also by the sheer beauty of the pale green leaves which turn a lovely clear yellow before falling in the autumn.
This maybe the only time that we have seen this species used in a group pr forest planting style but it is curiously effective. It was part of a collection of bonsai that we purchased from an enthusiast who had been involved in bonsai for more than 30 years. This group looks as though it was assembled many years ago and is beginning to exhibit some aged characteristics and really only lacks the ramification that you might expect although as mentioned in the above paragraph the species does not grow fine twigs very quickly. The trunk diam. in the forest vary from 4 cm. to 1 cm. giving the sort of variation so valuable in effective assemblies of this sort. One of the photos shows the unusual leaves just emerging with that stunning green colouration. The overall height is 50 cm and it is 46 cm. wide. Slowly develop the branching would seem to be the way forward with this bonsai. The pot is a plastic trainer of the Mica sort and it measures 49x30x5 cm. Worth it’s place in a collection by virtue of it’s uniqueness if nothing else.