Resilience is a trait that we admire in people. It often means they have had to be tough, persevere against the odds and adapt to the situation. The same can be said of certain trees. Perhaps the most resilient, because of its great age, is the ginkgo. This beautiful tree is so old it has been called a "living fossil" growing on earth since the Mesozoic Era. Their simple fan-shaped leaves are certainly some of the loveliest in the entire plant kingdom and in the fall when the foliage turns translucent gold, the effect is breathtaking. One of the reasons I have never hesitated to include a ginkgo in a landscape plan is that they will thrive under almost any condition.

This primeval tree is columnar and evenly branched when young, but older ginkgos can be very wide with tremendous gnarled and twisting branches.

Ginkgos will shine in a variety of harsh climate conditions, but I find that they grow best when full or half day sun is available. Adequate drainage is also important. Too much water around the tree’s roots will cause it to decline.