Anti-stink spraying of ginkgo trees in DC set for Monday

WASHINGTON — The District’s annual effort to quash the stench of ginkgo fruit is set to begin Monday, May 1.

Each spring, the District Department of Transportation sprays female ginkgo trees with a mild pesticide to stop fruit from developing.

Though ginkgo trees are beautiful in the fall, the fruit they bear emits a putrid odor when left on the ground to rot.

The fruit resembles small yellow  plums, and the seeds contained inside are edible. It’s the fleshy outer layer that emits the smell.

The stench — for those who’ve never experienced it — has been likened to that of vomit.

In order to prevent the smell from blanketing the D.C. area come autumn, the department will spray a chemical called Shield-3EC 24(C), the same spray used for the past 20 years.

The spraying will begin in Ward 5 and move on to Wards 4, 3, 2, 1 and 6. The department said there are no ginkgo trees in Wards 7 and 8.

For those not satisfied with pesticide use, DDOT has come up with a process where property owners can petition for ginkgo tree removal.

More information on the spraying and tree removal is provided on the department’s website.

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