Ginkgo biloba... leaves turn brown and fall early

nokiSeptember 26, 2009

I've had a Ginkgo for three summers, and it has put on a lot of new growth. It's now about 9 feet/3 meters.

Each September/October (3 of them) alot of the leaves turn brown/part brown and fall early before frost, especially on the new growth branches. There are dead leaves on the ground, and some brown leaves in the tree. Rather ugly, neighbor isn't pleased about the ugly tree. There does not seem to be any reason for the tree to be stressed. A mile away the neglected Ginkgos planted in holes in concrete next to a busy street with buses are doing fine.

So will this tree outgrow this ugly habit, or just the way the tree is genetically? I suppose when the tree gets older and more dense the tree will have more interior leaves than exterior leaves so there will be more leaves that may fall normally than the dead looking ones. Thanks.

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snasxs(7-8 VA)

Planting a tree is like adopting a child. The development of the child mostly depends on you. You are responsible for any outcome.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2009 at 9:01PM
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Doesn't sound normal. Is it a seedling or grafted cultivar? If the latter, I would not blame genetics.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2009 at 10:28PM
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It was sold as a grafted cultivar 'Fairmont'.

It's not like it's dying, it's just rather unattractive and disappointing, doubt it will have much yellow color this year in October, three years in a row. What could be wrong if this is unusual, it has grown well. I keep a rational layer of mulch, and water during some hot days in Summer, so it is somewhat pampered. Gets full sun. The summer was mild this year. But the street tree Gingkos the city planted in the High St sidewalk 3 feet from the curb have no brown leaves and most will color up nicely, so I wonder what is wrong.

Is it the cultivar? I may have adopted a tree, but it is just a grafted clone... I can always plant a different clone.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2009 at 1:14AM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

I never seen this either...all the Ginkgo's typically have a yellow fall color, some better than others.

For example my Autumn Gold has an amazing buttery yellow fall color.

The Farimount is listed as having vivid yellow fall color.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2009 at 10:46AM
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How is the soil drainage? You're right about them them being able to seeming grow in concrete--NYC has had many beautiful, thriving specimens for decades. Fall color should be yellow as noted above. Are there similar problems with nearby trees and shrubs? I am clueless otherwise. They seem rather pest & disease free as well. Perhaps it was was planted too deeply?? I would contact a local (knowledgeable) garden center and maybe bring in a few leaves.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2009 at 1:00PM
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Here is a pic of the tree. The tree has had the outer leaves turn brown and fall all September, 3 years in a row. Just baffles me.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2009 at 10:17PM
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I have the same problem on a GB seedling. The Lychee seedling next to it in the nursery is the same.

Any more thoughts?

With best regards,


    Bookmark   October 26, 2009 at 2:20PM
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