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Ginkgo Trees Receive Treatment To Avoid Stench

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Gingko trees grow well in the city. They're long-lived with giant trunks and beautiful fan shaped leaves that turn bright gold in the summer. But the female trees produce masses of grape sized fruit that smell like dirty socks and vomit. They also make a huge mess.

The trees were planted back in the day before people could tell the difference between male and female saplings, and when city landscapers didn't realize what would happen when the trees matured and produced their foul fruit.

So now, every year, the Department of Urban Forestry sprays down the female trees in the city with a chemical called Shield EC. It causes the fruit producing buds to fall off. Department officials say it doesn't pose any danger to garden plants.

The overnight spraying will begin in Wards 1, 2 and 6, where female ginkgo trees are most prevalent, and continue through Wards 4, 5, 3, 7 and 8. It'll go on for the next few nights. Officials say there is no need to move vehicles parked on streets.

For additional information, please contact DDOT Trees at 202-671-5133.

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