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Ginkgo Bonsai: the Living Fossil

Ginkgo Bonsai: the Living Fossil

If you want to know a tree which is believed to be extinct but still can be found until today; the answer is Ginkgo Biloba. In 1940’s, this tree was recognized from fossilized leaves, hence it is believed to be extinct.

However, it is later found out that a living species in China. The Ginkgo Biloba tree can live for more than hundreds years and the oldest tree was found in China which exists for 3000 years old.

In the native land, Japan, Ginkgo Biloba is called ‘Chici Icho’ which means breast; the name implies wellness. Moreover, the tree is also considered the fountain of youth since the tree is assumed to have the ability to improve health and memory.


In the present days, Ginkgo Biloba is many people’s favorite for bonsai. Besides as one way to preserve the tree itself, Ginkgo bonsai is believed to have a good effect for health.

Read: Apple bonsai: One of the incredible fruit bonsai

Ginkgo Biloba Bonsai

The Ginkgo Biloba is a very special plant for bonsai; the leaves’ shape is fan-like. During autumn, the leaves will turn yellow. The shape of the leaves often refers to maiden hair; therefore the Ginkgo bonsai is also called maidenhair.

The Ginkgo Biloba is sexual which means there is a male and female tree. The female tree bears fruits which have stinky smell due to the chemical substance, butanoic acid. However, the bonsai version of Ginkgo female tree is rarely bear fruit.


Ginkgo bonsai Care

The Ginkgo bonsai has great adaptation ability and considers as hardy outdoor bonsai. To make the bonsai grow well, you need to ensure that the position is right. The bonsai likes full sun for full grown bonsai and slight shade for new bonsai. For the best autumn color leaves, a full grown Ginkgo bonsai need full sun exposure.

During winter, you have to give extra protection from the frost, especially the roots. Wrapping the pot, especially in the root, by burying it in the ground and cover with mulch. During the winter, you can skip watering and let the root dry because it is easily damaged by the frost.

ginkgobonsaiFor maximal growth, you can water the Ginkgo bonsai in a daily basis to moisten the soil.

However, do not over watering because it can make the trunk easy to rot. Since bonsai is planted in a limited space, its nutrition supply is also limited.

Therefore, it needs fertilizing at the beginning of spring and mid-summer.

The amount of fertilizer depends in the size of the tree and the growing rate.

For the best autumn leaves, make sure that the fertilizer has low nitrogen level and feed it at the beginning of autumn.

Ginkgo bonsai need annual repotting until ten years old, after that it needs once in every two years. The full grown up tree needs to be repotting for once in three years. Repotting should be done at the beginning of spring or during the growing season.

For a good bonsai shape, you can prune it during the growing season for at least twice. You can trim the new shoots for two or three leaves.

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