My neighbor unceremoniously chopped the main trunk off a gingko tree that was growing over the fence. My question is does this tree stand a chance of survival and being a desirable shape, or should I just chop it down and dig it out.
Ginkgos are huge trees. From the picture that one appears to be too close to the fence and gate. Also the trunk is too wavy and also looks like there may be wires overhead.
Unless this is a dwarf cultivar, in which case the branch structure would be interesting, I would say start over with a straight trunk-ed tree in a more appropriate spot, or get a dwarf cultivar to plant in this spot.
Desireable shape? Maybe with a lot of work.
But the comments about location above should be noted as well.
I'll second those comments...few thoughts:
1. It was too close to the fence
2. Neighbors can be jerks.
I didn't plant it so I don't know its origin or variety. I expect I'll just take it out since it didn't really fit the location anyway and now is misshapen. Its a tiny urban yard with a Japanese Maple a few feet away (although planning on moving that) and a red plum growing above it, and cable wires coming in from the alley.
If you love a Ginkgo and have a sunny spot, look up Mariken and Spring Grove. They'll be cute little mini trees and you can grow them in your small yard. There are many others like that. Nice contrast with Japanese maples. Add in some dwarf conifers and a few flowering perennials, and you'll have a beautiful year round garden.
get it thru your head.. that cutting on a tree does NOT lead to death ...
you could topiary it.. learn how to prune yourself ..
i would probably take it down about 4 more feet.. to the next large branch ... and remove all branches leading toward the fence ... and then see what happens.. for sure.. it will have a wind swept look .... you can learn a lot working on this tree.. and then.. get rid of it ... when you get tired of it ...
the neighbor was fully within his rights once it crossed the property line ... in most jurisdictions ....
the happiest day of my life in the garden.. at my first house.. was the day i removed the last of the prior owners mistakes ... this is your second post on poorly sited plants .. do not hesitate to get rid of anything you can not deal with ... no guilt.. its not your fault.. and that is what gardening is all about ...
I would probable keep it just to piss off the a-hole across the fence. I would also probable shape it into a one finger solute. LOL
Alas I can be a vindictive ^$^$^%$#$ myself. ;-)
Even if you could make it work, that Ginkgo is going to send lateral limbs outward across the fence, and over his yard. It seems he might be prone to cut them. Shearing the limbs on one side of a tree back close to the trunk would create one ug-uh-lee and unbalanced tree.
Trees labeled 'fastigiate' or 'columnar' tend to be very narrow in form. If you are determined to have a tree there, this might help you find some possibilities. Including ginkgos.