Magyar Ginkgo

Ginkgo biloba ‘Magyar’

Description & Overview

Magyar Ginkgo is an excellent choice for parkways, as a street tree, as well as a lawn/shade tree. One of the best performers in our fields, this hardy tree will provide longevity in your landscape. Tolerant of compact soils, heat, air pollution, and salt it is suitable for a wide variety of sites. With vibrant yellow fall color and a branch structure that creates winter interest, this is a great choice for a shade tree. Plus, it’s a living fossil! May also be known as Maidenhair Tree.

Core Characteristics

Wisconsin Native: No – Introduced
Mature Height: 40-50ft
Mature Spread: 20-25ft
Growth Rate: Very Slow
Growth Form: Narrow, pyramidal
Light Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Site Requirements: Prefers moist, sandy, well-drained soils and compacts soils
Flower: Insignificant, green
Bloom Period: April
Foliage: Medium green, fan shaped
Fall Color: Bright yellow
Fruit Notes: Fruitless (male)

Suggested Uses:

Magyar Ginkgo is best used as a street tree as it out-performs other cultivars with its resistance to salt and compacted soils. It can also be used as a shade tree in those hard-to-grow spots in a yard, or near a driveway. Magyar is effective for city park sites, as well as around commercial buildings. A great vertical and structural addition to any landscape, site Magyar Ginkgo ideally in a full sun location or part shade when necessary. While tolerant of part shade, it will perform best in at least six hours of sunlight.

Salable #25 Container trees. Picture taken late August.

Wildlife Value:

Little to no wildlife value as Magyar Ginkgo is a seedless (male) cultivar, so it does not attract birds. The female Ginkgo produces a fruit that is known to bring an unpleasant smell with it, making it industry standard to sell male cultivars.

Additionally, it is deer resistant.

Maintenance Tips:

Magyar Ginkgo is known to do well in very compact soils and is suitable in a variety of soils ranging from sand and loam to heavy clay; however, do not plant in a poorly drained location. It can tolerate saline conditions and will do fine near driveways/roads/parking lots. We recommend a 2-3” deep mulch ring around newly planted trees to retain moisture and protect the roots. Magyar Ginkgo requires little to no pruning to attain a strong branch structure; however, if needed, prune in early spring. Ginkgo is known to transplant easily and is low maintenance.


There are no known serious insect or disease problems. Ginkgo may grow slowly initially in the landscape but will pick up later with a proper water supply.

Leaf Lore:

Magyar Ginkgo is a male form of Ginkgo biloba that was first sited growing in front of the Magyar Bank in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Discovered for its narrow and upright form with ascending branches it has become quite a reliable tree.

The genus name Ginkgo is a mistranslation of the Japanese ‘gin’ meaning silver and ‘kyo’ meaning apricot dating back to the 17th century. A long-time symbol of longevity, the Ginkgo’s history is an astonishing one.

Ginkgo trees are known as living fossils, with leaf impressions dating back 270 million years! It is also a readily available medicine throughout the world. A lot of trees claim to be resilient, but how many can say their species has survived an atomic bomb dropped in Hiroshima? Roughly 170 Ginkgo biloba survived the blast in 1945. Talk about a living legend! A true symbol of longevity, this tree will most likely outlive generations to come. A single Ginkgo tree can live for over 1,000 years. Autumn Gold™ Ginkgo, can be expected to do the same.

In the fall, you may notice your Ginkgo’s leaves drop dramatically, all at once. Why is this? As colder weather comes, common deciduous trees like maples often lose their leaves over a few weeks. The process of a tree losing its leaves is a little more complex than you may think, the stems of leaves on these trees are called petioles. Petioles produce a layer of protective cells to protect trees from diseases that could enter as the leaves drop. This process typically takes place over several weeks as temperature decreases. On a Ginkgo tree, the petioles form a layer of scar-like cells simultaneously and once a hard frost arrives it triggers all leaves to drop at once, creating a lovely golden carpet around the base of your tree. A true sign that fall has arrived.

Ginkgo biloba was previously classified in the Pinophyta division (phylum), which encompasses all cone-bearing plants commonly referred to as conifers. Ginkgo biloba is now classified in its own division, Ginkgophyta, but it is still a gymnosperm (meaning ‘naked seed’) and is closely related to other prehistoric plants like evergreens and cycads.

Companion Plants:

Pair Magyar Ginkgo with part-shade perennials or shrubs at the base such as All Gold Japanese Forest Grass, Sum & Substance Hosta, Gro-low Sumac, or Creeping Juniper. To create a true Japanese/Zen Garden, add specimen plants such as Dwarf Hinoki Cypress or Niobe Willow to the mix.

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johnson's nursery plant knowledgebase for the midwest tree logo popout 32x32