Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Stink tree causing a problem in Bayside

From the Queens Tribune:

Barry Plonski said at his polling place on Election Day that he’d vote for any Council candidate who would get rid of the stinky Ginkgo Biloba trees near his home on 210th Street and 43rd Avenue in Bayside. “They are absolutely noxious,” he said, placing the smell at the olfactory intersection of animal feces and vomit.

The real stink comes from the orange- or green-colored fruit born by female Ginkgo trees – an Asian delicacy for soups and stews, with the large seed going for about $4 of $5 per pound in Flushing. “Very fortunately, Korean people love these fruits,” said Plonski, also saying that if it wasn’t for the Asian gleaners he and his neighbors often see shaking trees, and coaxing fruits down with poles, the smell would be “truly unbelievable.”

Maria Yates said the relationship between neighborhood residents and gleaners wasn’t always symbiotic, in the past she would work aggressively to discourage gleaners from leaving the carcass of the fruit in lieu of the seed. “You can’t be doing this, because people suffer from headaches because of the fruit,” she would tell poachers.

The spilt fruit burns the pads of dogs’ feet, peels the paint off cars, and once posed a mortal danger; an incident Yates recounted from eight years ago left a man dead, after he used a metal pole to cut loose the fruits. The pole ended up also cutting an electric cable. After chasing the man to warn him against the use of a metal pole, she saw him collapse dead just around the corner.

14 comments:

Moby Stavisky said...

I don't smell anything??!!?!?!

Unknown said...

The guy with the metal pole was either 9 or 10 years ago - he hit the wires right in front of my old house (211 and 43 - on the corner)(I SAW it happen) We moved in Aug 2001, so..

Always wondered who my neighbor who tried to warn him was (I ran to him too)

Yes, the tress smell, but IMHO, not quite as badly as made out in the article

Anonymous said...

Let the Koreans glean all the fruit they like and encourage them to come and get it fast.

The Ginko Biloba tree has many positive attributes: the fruit is medicinal, it will grow in the most polluted areas and is resistant to car exhaust that kills most other trees, and it provides summer shade.

Unfortunately, male trees would do most of what you want without the smelly fruit, but there is no shortage of Asians in New York, and if you don't harass them, they'll take care of the problem for free.

Matt said...

No matter how much these smell like a toilet, I always smile when I walk by these on my block in Astoria, because they were all over my college campus and bring back good memories.

They were actually a senior prank one year, gifted to the school without informing them that they are the awful smelling female version of the tree.

Best. prank. ever.

Anonymous said...

very interesting. Having lived with a bus stop in front of my house in Glendale, and having scooped untold amounts of dog poop, litter, condoms, and used diapers, and seeing as the MTA refuses to place a refuse can, I will now caringly plant one of these trees so I may return
some of the revolting `favors' I have *so* enjoyed...
Happy commuting, and try not to puke!

Anonymous said...

The MTA doesn't place garbage cans anyplace outside of subway stations. That's the job of the Department of Sanitation.

Granny Shulman said...

I gargle with that stuff. Can you tell?

Anonymous said...

It smells like vomit. totally gross!

Granny Shulman said...

It smells like vomit. totally gross!

See?

Anony2 said...

So THAT's what the stench is! I have been wondering!

J. Liu said...

Those trees give me wood!

faster340 said...

smells like rancid meat. They could have chosen a more pleasant variety...

Anonymous said...

Every rose has its thorn, and there will always be people who want to rid the world of all roses because of the noxiousness and danger of the thorns.

Weenies.

Moby Stavisky said...

Weenies.


Where???