Stinky, smelly gingko biloba fruit: What to do?

Stephen M Jankalski CEREOID at
Tue Oct 26 05:17:25 EST 1999

Ginkgo biloba is famous for its foul smelling "fruit". Since its a
gymnosperm, they are actually seeds covered with a fleshy sarcotesta. 

Since the species is dioecious, typically only male trees are planted for
landscaping. Somebody goofed. I know, that's a moot point now.

With this craze for Ginkgo biloba, maybe you can get people to come and
take the stinky fruit for you. Ginkgo is supposed to improve memory. They
use the leaves in herbal medicine but you can say the "fruit" are far more
potent! Apparently, whoever was responsible for planting the trees forgot
to take Ginkgo himself!

I understand that squirrels love to eat the "fruit". I'm surprised they
have not yet helped themselves to them.

David Hershey <dh321 at> wrote in article
<38153627.F4862346 at>...
> Contact your local county extension agent and see if they have newer
> recommendations. In a 1977 study in California, Maleic hydrazide
> (tradename Royal Slo-Gro) was sprayed two weeks apart during "bloom" on
> both male and female trees and greatly reduced "fruit" set. The
> concentration was 5000 parts per million (2 quarts per 100 gallons).
> Surrounding plants were not harmed.
> Technically, ginkgos have cones rather than flowers and seeds rather
> than fruits. The fleshy, messy part is the seed coat. The seeds are
> considered a delicacy in some Asian countries.
> David Hershey
> Maria Luna and Mark Bornfeld wrote:
> > 
> > I'm sure I'm not the only one with this problem; perhaps someone can
> > offer a solution. I'm talking about a female ginkgo biloba tree that
> > drops its fruit all over the sidewalk in front of my house. The tree is
> > pretty, but that doesn't make up for the mess and smell, not to mention
> > the hazard to passers-by who may slip and fall on the slick pulpy
> > sidewalk. This is a VERY prolific tree, much more so than others in the
> > neighborhood.
> > So, I have been spending approximately 3 hours per week peeling the
> > adherent mess from the sidewalk with rubber gloves (the residue is not
> > amenable to sweeping or raking) for the past month. It appears that
> > removal is not an option. Can anyone out there suggest a solution? Is
> > there a chemical agent/hormone that can prevent the tree from fruiting?
> > HELP!
> > 
> >                           --Mark Bornfeld
> >                             Brooklyn
> > --
> > Maria Luna P.T. and Mark Bornfeld D.D.S.
> >
> > Brooklyn, NY   718-258-5001

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