Thursday, August 3, 2017

Living Fossils in Calgary Update

 Last year I planted two living fossils in my Calgary garden as a trial experiment and have some good news! My article from July 2016 explains all you need to know about the two species, Ginko and Kentucky Coffee Tree, that have their histories firmly planted in prehistory.

Last fall gave us some freezing daytime temperatures in early October so the Ginkos were barely able to turn yellow before freezing and the Kentucky Coffee just dropped all its leaves when the cold hit. The winter gave us extreme cold, well into the minus 30's with plenty of snow, some of the coldest weather I can remember in decades. The bad news is the potted Ginko did not survive but the one in ground did as did the Kentucky Coffee, so we now know that these trees can survive some of our coldest winters.

Spring came on slowly but May got hot and back on track for our growing season, both these trees leaf out in late May when frost is no longer a danger ( most of the time) even the Kentucky Coffee which is supposed to be so late was only a week or two behind most trees in leafing out, they probably appear bare because the buds are extremely tiny.

The surviving Ginko is very slow on growth, like none at all, just leaves. The Ginko in the pot actually grew about 8 inches or so which makes me wonder if it's a difference in individuals or just a better location issue?

This Ginko receives about a half day of sun and also had very little, if any, winter kill, also no pests in the summer.

Kentucky Coffee Tree is also very slow growing, the one I have maybe grew a few millimetres  but seems to have come thru the winter quite easily! This tree also has zero pests and seems to love our hot summer this year.

So far there have been no problems growing these trees in Calgary, in our climate it's always worth trying something new.

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