As one man battles a ginkgo biloba tree in Brooklyn, another fights his own stinky tree situation in Queens. Barry Plonski's home on 210th Street and 43rd Avenue in Bayside is within smelling distance of multiple gingkos — and he places the smell they emit "at the olfactory intersection of animal feces and vomit." Female gingkos, the smelly fruit bearers, are the ones to blame — and there are about 15 in Plonski's neighborhood.
Locals told the Queens Tribune that it's fortunate "Korean people love these fruits... if it wasn't for the Asian gleaners coaxing fruits down with poles, the smell would be truly unbelievable." (Learn more about gingko gathering here.)
Parks Department Commissioner Adrian Benepe told one resident of the neighborhood, "despite the admittedly displeasing smell, the trees were of value to the city because they reduce pollution, improve air quality, and enhance property values." The department won't remove a tree unless it's dying, but they do say they're not planning on planting anymore female gingkos.
Meanwhile, a reader tells us of his own Lady Gingko problems, saying: "I'm on the board of my BH co-op, and Tuesday night a bunch of discussion centered around the fact that a branch on one of our gingko trees has decided to change sex — from male to female, and is already creating a 'stink'. They've asked me to look into what can be done. Some people even suggested cutting the branch off — something I'm opposed to." He opined on his blog: "if the branch wants to be female, let it. Besides, what if we cut this one off, and another branch changes?" The gingkos are mutating, people.