Among the four Ginkgo biloba trees that are in the garden are two dwarf varieties. That's G. biloba 'Spring Grove' on the left in the picture below. 'Mariken' is still so green it's barely visible in the background to the right.
Ginkgos are famed for dropping their beautiful leaves all at once in the autumn. But I've found they are quite variable in when they color up and how quickly they drop their leaves. My oldest and biggest one typically loses its leaves in two or three days rather than overnight. 'Spring Grove' is way ahead of its neighboring dwarf Ginkgo as well as the big one in turning color.
These two little Ginkgoes are twelve years old which means they are a significant size. I've caged them every winter to protect them. I don't know if the rabbits would munch on them but I've always been too nervous to take a chance. 'Spring Grove' is fairly narrow so caging is not a big problem. But 'Mariken' (below) is a widely spreading little gem and caging it is always a chore I dislike as it is an awkward and frustrating job. Still I will probably continue to cage these two as it would not take a much damage to be noticeable on dwarf specimens.
I snapped the above photos and wrote that section of this post last Friday. Saturday we had high winds, snow flurries and cold temperatures. This is what I saw when I looked out the window Sunday morning. Those lovely yellow leaves on the 'Spring Beauty' were all on the ground.
Alas G. 'Mariken' and our big Ginkgo also lost their leaves — though they had not remotely begun to turn yellow. But clearly it was an overnight sensation — just like the tree books say!
This is the second year in a row that the Ginkgoes have lost their leaves while still green. Last year it happened a week later, but it was still October. We'll see if more deciduous trees drop their leaves again this year without coloring up.
The Ginkgo leaves are so thick on the ground that you have to look closely to see the stepping stones in the foreground.