Ginkgo biloba Tree Planted - October 2021

I had a credit with an online nursery that was burning a hole in my pocket.  It came from a tree that I bought last year that died within the first few months of being planted here in Downers Grove.  When I saw an email that trumpeted a sale ALONG with Free Shipping, I decided to act.  I bought a four foot tall Ginkgo biloba tree.  I've been thinking about adding a Ginkgo to our yard for a long time, so when I looked at the total in my shopping cart was less than a few bucks for this tiny Ginkgo, I clicked the 'buy button'.  

This isn't the first Ginkgo tree that we've had - we had a larger one that I planted in our old house that was given to me as a Kellogg graduation present from Nat's parents.  That one was at least 1.5" caliper.  This one?  About the caliper of my pinky finger.  This is the latest - and tenth tree that I planted this year, but it also is one of the smallest.  The most recent trees I planted were the Sugar Tyme Crabapples against the house in the middle of September.  

As for the location, I went around and around with my thinking of where to put it.  I ended up planting it in the south bed - right around 'even' from the patio with the large Red Oak (tree swing) tree.  Here, below, you can see the tree planted in the ground.  

Now...why there?  Well, because I'm not sure this tree is going to make it.  Why?  Because the trunk was cracked (not snapped) in half and seems that the bark has been injured pretty good.  Here's the angle of the trunk about half-way up:

Below, is a closer look at the green innards that are showing where the tree cracked over:

From that photo above, you might think that this tree could survive.  But, have a look at the photo below showing the full look at the damage:

That damage - and my presumption that this tree will NOT survive - is the biggest reason for why I planted it in the bed in the back.  When I bought this tree, I was thinking of planting it as a patio tree, but based on both the damage - AND the size - I'm not sure that's the right move.  Ginkgos are slow growers, so putting something like this in harms way - right outside our patio - where it will get A LOT of traffic isn't going to be the right answer.

After I planted it, I took some corrective measures including bracing the trunk with a piece of wood spanning the cracked area.  And, a longer, upright stick that I tied the entire tree to in an effort to keep it upright.  

One other note: this tree came in a burlap bag that I wouldn't describe as a 'ball'.  It was more a loose 'sack' of dirt.  Same as this Lombardy Poplar tree that I planted a few years back.  I ended up removing that tree's roots from the sack in order to plant it.  Ultimately, that tree died pretty quickly, but I'm not sure if the bag removal was part of the stress and problem.  For this Ginkgo, I was pretty careful to cut away the burlap while trying to keep as much soil around the roots as possible.  Alas, only time will tell if this tree makes it next Spring.  They're supposed to send me another replacement tree that I'm now thinking of planting in the strip 'in between two driveways' as a sort-of understory tree to the hackberry tree that I think will go into decline in the coming years.   Here's a post showing my thinking for front-yard trees.

As for this particular Ginko tree, it has *some* leaves on it, but they seem stressed (when the tree arrived), with splits in fan-shape that you traditionally see in these beautiful leaves.  I'm going to water this thing in all Fall in the hopes that we'll see some buds to set before it goes dormant this Winter.  See the split in the leaf below:

In terms of keeping score, these are the 62nd tree planted since we bought the property and have 41 trees alive. 

Across this being our fifth growing season here.

62 trees planted/5 growing seasons = 12.4 trees on average planted each season.
41 trees alive/5 growing seasons = 8.2 trees on average survive each season.

Ten trees this season would put me over my low years for an annual planting cycle since we started in 2017 - just ahead of 2017 and 2019 when I planted nine.  Behind the high years when I planted 17 trees (2018 and 2020).  This will NOT be the last tree for 2021, so the totals will go up before Winter arrives when I plant a couple of other tiny trees.

2017 (9 planted. 4 Dead. 5 of the original annual total alive now):
1. Flowering Pear in backyard on north side.
2. Flowering Pear in front yard by garage. (LOST and replaced)
3. Japanese flowering cherry
4 and 5: 2 Lindens that I espalier'd and placed by the south fence line near our kitchen windows.
6. A Dawn Redwood from Earth Day 2017 (LOST and replaced)
7. Nat's Saucer Magnolia in our front yard
8. A Corkscrew Willow all the way in the back (LOST)
9. A Crimson King Norway Maple near the trampoline

2018 (17 planted. 6 Dead):
10. Another flowering pear from Earth Day 2018
11. Red Maple Sun Valley tree from Earth Day 2018.
12. Weeping Cedar tree - our first evergreen.  (LOST)
13. The weeping flowering cherry tree that the Babe planted for Earth Day 2018.
14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21. These Frans Fontaine Hornbeams
22. A replacement Chanticleer Pear tree (3" caliper) out front by our garage
23. Our second evergreen - a short Fraser Fir Christmas Tree out by the trampoline. (LOST)
24. This Canadian Hemlock that is the first of nine that our landscape plan calls for in the backyard. (LOST)
25. Our replanted/replacement Dawn Redwood. Same spot as the first.
26. This teeny-tiny Bald Cypress that I planted in the front yard, in between our driveway and our neighbor to the north.

2019 (9 planted.  5 Dead):
27, 28, 29.  A set of three small Canadian Hemlock Trees in our far backyard. (Two Lost)
30, 31, 32.  This second set of three small Canadian Hemlocks along the north fence line. (One Lost)
33.  My new Weeping White Spruce that will only grow about 4' wide placed near the fence line alongside the espalier'd Lindens.
34.  A NEW Dwarf Alberta Spruce planted near the south fence line.  Our first "dwarf" tree.
35.  This new Hakuro Nishiki Willow (Dappled Willow) tree planted close to the flowering cherry on the southside.  LOST - October 2020.

37.  A very thin Lombardy Poplar tree - columnar form - in the way back wood chip area.  LOST - July 2020.
38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45.  These apple trees in a Belgian Fence espalier.
46.  A small Northern Red Oak tree - our first Oak tree planted.
47.  A 'decapitated' Lavender Twist Weeping Redbud that I planted on a whim.
48.  A replacement (from the nursery) Lavender Twist Redbud planted close to the brother.
49.  A tall(ish) London Plane tree that suffered some transplant and frost shock, but seemed to recover. 
50.  Our second contorted tree - this one inspired by Disneyland Paris: a Harry Lauder's Walking Stick tree.
51.  Our third contorted tree - but one that checks A LOT of boxes.  Deciduous conifer.  Weeping.  Contorted.  Japanese.  Planted behind the front Maple - the Horstmann's Recursive Weeping Contorted Larch.  LOST - Aug 2020.
52.  Via the Morton Arboretum Plant Sale - a columnar tree from Japan - the Red Fox Katsura Tree that I planted as an understory tree to the dying Chanticleer Pear Tree next to our driveway. 

2021 (So Far) (10 planted and 10 alive):
53.  A tiny bareroot Shagbark Hickory from the Benet Academy Environmental Club planted in the backyard.   
55.  A large Weeping Nootka Falsecypress from Wannemaker's planted in the new bed on the northside. 
56.  A long-sought-after Emperor I Japanese Maple - our second Japanese Maple - that is now planted on the border near our new-to-be-created fire pit area in the backyard. 
59.  A dwarf Japanese White Pine - Pinus Parviflora Nana (or perhaps something else)


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