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.