Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Trolls and Dwarves

When I posted earlier this month about my climbing hydrangea did you notice a little lollipop of a tree in the photo? That small stick with leaves directly under the windows?

That's a dwarf ginkgo biloba 'Troll'. I just planted it last summer. It's the cutest thing.

It is a shrubby ginkgo, not anything like the 100 foot tall species trees. It will grow to only 3 feet tall and 3 feet wide, and its distinctive fan shaped leaves are much smaller too.

This one won't be a round 3 x 3 shrub, though. It was trained into a standard, which is pretty common for 'Troll'.  It was already 3 feet tall when I bought it, so I don't know if that is its maximum height as a standard, or if it will get any taller.

I'd like it to grow tall enough to be seen through the windows --  another two feet of height would be nice and a sturdier trunk would be appreciated.

I was excited to see if this dwarf would have the bright yellow fall color that the species trees are famous for. And to see if it would drop all its leaves at once the way ginkgo trees do.

But we got a brief, hard freeze in late October and all the leaves browned before they had shown any color. Disappointment.

And then the leaves hung on, since their abscission pattern had been messed up by the freeze.

I'm really looking forward to next season to see if 'Troll' gets any bigger, and to see if it does its fall thing the way ginkgos are supposed to.

Actually I'll be happy if it just makes it through the winter. My other attempt at a ginkgo ended badly. Years ago I planted 'Spring Grove', another dwarf version that makes a shrubby plant, and for two years it was cute, it colored nicely and it did in fact drop all of its golden leaves in fall on a single day. But it did not come back after two winters.

So I'm trying again, this time with 'Troll'. I don't have room for a huge ginkgo tree in my garden, but I'm fascinated with the leaves, so a dwarf ginkgo has to suit. I can't wait to see how this little guy grows.

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