In autumn, Brooklyn Heights sidewalks get a generous sprinkling of the overripe fruit of ginkgo trees exuding a noxious smell from which comes their nickname. The fruit contains butyric acid, a substance also found in rancid butter. Tree experts in our nation’s capital may have a cure.
dcist: The arrival of warmer spring weather means one thing: … the ginkgos are once again threatening to rise up and fill our nasal passages with nothing but disgusting scents all summer and fall.
To battle the stinky fruit, the District Department of Transportation’s Urban Forestry Administration — a.k.a. DDOT Trees — began to coat female ginkgo trees with the same spray they’ve used in previous years to try and neutralize the odor.
Evidently, Washington’s warmer weather makes the fruit ripen earlier there. According to the news story, the spray is harmless to cars and, we hope, to people and pets.
Thanks to reader Andrew Porter for the tip.