Neighborhood Watch: Smelly Trees or Tree Stumps in Trinidad? was originally published on City Desk on Nov. 06, 2009, at 1:27 pm
The Issue: Some residents aren’t charmed by the odor of female ginkgo trees in Trinidad—and have already had some removed by the city. But according to D.C. Department of Transportation (DDOT) policy, after a tree is cut down, someone must call again for another one to be replanted—a process that can take up to seven months. With lax communication, some neighborhoods, like this one, are left with stumps for years. Should the ginkgoes be left alone?
“I Speak for the Trees, for the Trees Have No Tongues”: Hilloholic, writing on the blog Frozen Tropics, says, “Ginkgoes are awesome! Don’t cut them down. I wouldn’t call their smell a huge problem.” There is also a pesticide spray available that halts the production of the smelly fruit—a tactic the Urban Forestry Administration has utilized in the past.
What is That Smell? No stretch here: Many people wouldn’t be sad to see the smelly offenders go. The blog DCist has an entire page of comments dedicated to describing the aroma of the ginkgo fruit: Most include some combination of the words “vomit,” “jizz,” and “Parmesan.” As far as the pesticide option, the city found it difficult to complete the spraying in the short time window available, and has mainly used tree removal as a solution in recent years.
Next Step: If you want trees replanted fast, grab neighbors and mobilize: DDOT spokesman John Lisle told City Desk that the city also “requests an agreement saying the community is going to water the tree and assist nurturing it for the first two years.” A commenter also offers this advice: “You have to call to have the tree removed. You can’t use the online system because they don’t read those reports.”