Saratoga Ginkgo Tree

Ginkgo biloba ‘Saratoga'

Saratoga Ginkgo Tree

Ginkgo biloba ‘Saratoga'


How are the heights measured?

All tree, and nothin' but the tree! We measure from the top of the soil to the top of the tree; the height of the container or the root system is never included in our measurements.

What is a gallon container?

Nursery containers come in a variety of different sizes, and old-school nursery slang has stuck. While the industry-standard terminology is to call the sizes "Gallon Containers", that doesn't exactly translate to the traditional liquid "gallon" size we think of. You'll find we carry young 1-gallons, up to more mature 7-gallons ranging anywhere from 6 inches to 6ft.

How does the delivery process work?

All of our orders ship via FedEx Ground! Once your order is placed online, our magic elves get right to work picking, staging, boxing and shipping your trees. Orders typically ship out within 2 business days. You will receive email notifications along the way on the progress of your order, as well as tracking information to track your plants all the way to their new home!

Why are some states excluded from shipping?

The short & sweet answer is: "United States Department of Agriculture Restrictions." Every state has their own unique USDA restrictions on which plants they allow to come into their state. While we wish we could serve everyone, it's for the safety of native species and helps prevent the spread of invasive disease & pests. We've gotta protect good ole' Mother Nature, after all.

About Me


The Saratoga Ginkgo Tree is a deciduous shade tree with a pyramidal crown and a strong central leader. It develops a dense crown sooner than other varieties of ginkgo, and it grows to a smaller size, reaching around 40 feet tall and 30 feet wide. It has unique lobed leaves of a reliable mid-green color, which turn beautiful tones of butter yellow in fall, making a remarkable display. This incredibly tough and reliable ‘living fossil’ is a perfect lawn specimen and shade tree, and it makes a beautiful screen as well. Use it for difficult areas where other trees don’t thrive.

  • Excellent long-lived shade and specimen tree
  • Dense, pyramidal form even when young
  • Glorious fall colors of glowing butter yellow
  • Tough, reliable and grows well in urban conditions
  • Long lived and durable in all conditions

The Saratoga Ginkgo Tree is reliably hardy all across the country, from zone 4 to zone 9. It should be planted in full sun, and it grows in virtually all soils, except for ones that are permanently flooded. It has no pests or diseases, tolerates urban pollution and road salt, and it is remarkably durable and tough. It needs no particular care once it is established.

Plant Hardiness Zones 4-9
Mature Width 25-35
Mature Height 35-45
Sun Needs Full Sun
Zones 4-9

The gingko, or maidenhair tree, is a popular and reliable shade tree that tolerates harsh urban conditions better than almost any other tree. With unique, attractive foliage and gorgeous butter-yellow fall color, it’s a great addition to any garden. The trouble is, young trees are often gaunt and open, and it can take a long time for them to develop an attractive bushy crown. That is exactly why the Saratoga Ginkgo Tree was developed. This renowned variety soon builds a dense, bushy crown with a strong central stem, forming a pyramidal tree from an early age, producing none of the famously smelly ginkgo fruits, and developing over time into a majestic specimen. All this already makes it a top choice, but it has more to offer. It makes a smaller tree than most gingko trees, so it’s ideal for smaller gardens and where you have limited space. The foliage is unique too, with a pendulous habit, a slender form and a more pronounced split into the two lobes that give this tree its name. When choosing plants it is always fun to try something new, but with large trees it’s different. We plant trees for the long-haul, and it is always best to rely on the skill and experience of experts. The Saratoga Ginkgo Tree is always in the top 5 varieties recommended by horticulturists for planting. Take their advice – you won’t be disappointed.

Growing the Saratoga Ginkgo Tree

Size and Appearance

The Saratoga Ginkgo Tree is a unique deciduous tree that grows into a pyramidal form, reaching when mature a height of around 40 feet, with a crown that is around 30 feet across, significantly more compact than seedlings or many other named varieties of this tree. The growth rate is relatively slow, and this is a tree to plant for the future, with an expected life of at least 150 years. The bark is an attractive light gray-brown, with deep vertical furrows and ridges giving it a lot of rugged character. The leaves are evenly spaced along new shoots, while on older stems they grow in clusters from short, knobby spurs. Each leaf is about 3 inches long and up to 3 inches wide at the end, and this variety has a characteristic long, slender tapering form to the leaves, which makes them slightly pendulous. The end of the leaf is divided into two distinct lobes. The foliage is a bright, clear green, and holds that color beautifully all through spring and summer. In fall the leaves first turn lime-green and then the whole tree becomes a gorgeous glowing sentinel of butter gold, making a wonderful display of uniform color that can last several weeks. Ginkgo has separate male and female trees, and females produce a fruit that is renowned for its terrible smell. The Saratoga Ginkgo Tree is a male tree, and it doesn’t produce fruit, so you have no worries in that department.

Using the Saratoga Ginkgo Tree in Your Garden

This beautiful pyramidal tree is a perfect lawn specimen in any garden. It is ideal for planting in a row as a screen, and it tolerates a wide range of soil conditions, so it can be planted freely almost everywhere. Allow at least 20 feet distance from buildings, walls and property boundaries, and don’t plant beneath overhead wires. For screening plant your trees at 7 to 10-foot spacings. This tree is also a popular and relatively easy choice for creating bonsai, of all sizes, and it can also be grown in a large tub for years.


The Saratoga Ginkgo Tree is completely hardy from zone 4 to zone 9. Fall foliage may not be reliable in zone 4, where early frost in some falls can make the leaves drop before they turn yellow.

Sun Exposure and Soil Conditions

Grow this tree in full sun for the best results. It will grow in just about any kind of soil, from sand to clay, acid to alkaline, and in poor urban soils and areas damaged by construction. Only permanently wet soil is unsuitable, although rich, well-drained soils give the best results. It tolerates urban air pollution and road salt well.

Maintenance and Pruning

The Saratoga Ginkgo Tree is normally completely free of pests or diseases, and it needs no particular care once it is established. It can be pruned as needed, although this is not normally necessary. Remove lower branches early if you need more clearance underneath, to avoid developing large scars on the trunk.

History and Origin of the Saratoga Ginkgo Tree

The Gingko Tree is quite literally a living fossil, and this species is around 200 million years old, remaining unchanged since it first evolved. Despite its appearance, and having its own special division among plants, its closest relatives seem to be conifers, because the flowers are cone-like. It has been grown in gardens and temples for centuries in China and Japan, and apart from a few ‘semi-wild’ areas it seems to have become extinct in the wild a long time ago. Always a popular tree, many varieties have been developed. The variety called ‘Saratoga’ was selected in 1975 from among a batch of seedlings, by breeders at the Saratoga Horticultural Research Foundation in California. That prestigious group was founded by nurseryman Ray Hartman, horticulturist Maunsell Van Rensselaer, and other nurserymen, in Saratoga, California in 1952. Its goal was to breed plants suitable for gardeners in the western states. Today it is the Saratoga Horticultural Research Endowment, administered by the University of California, giving grants for plant research.

Buying the Saratoga Ginkgo Tree at the Tree Center

Planting trees is a special activity that connects us with the future. You can enjoy the Saratoga Ginkgo Tree today, and leave a legacy for those yet to come, by planting one. Order now, because there is enormous demand for this highly-regarded variety and our stock will soon be all gone.

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Saratoga Ginkgo Tree

Ginkgo biloba ‘Saratoga'