Stinky, smelly gingko biloba fruit: What to do?

Ray Peterson ray_peterson at
Tue Oct 26 06:23:07 EST 1999

There is a market for these fruit.  If you can find it.  And if the
tree is not too polluted by its proximity to traffic!

On Mon, 25 Oct 1999 20:44:49 -0400, Maria Luna and Mark Bornfeld
<bobsey at> 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
>My natural reflex was to remove the tree, but the local authority (the
>New York City Dept. of Parks and Recreation, Forestry Division) has
>strict rules concerning the removal of trees on a public right of way
>(my sidewalk). A tree may only (lawfully) be removed if it is totally
>dead or if it poses a hazard to PROPERTY. When asked if the tree would
>qualify for removal if it poses a threat to human life, a Parks Dept.
>supervisor answered with a succinct "No". The hazard of a slick sidewalk
>resulting from mashed ginkgo fruit pulp would be legally handled the
>same way the hazard of dangerous ice or snow would be handled: the
>homeowner has the responsibility to remove any hazardous condition, or
>face any liability consequences.
>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 tree
>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?
>                          --Mark Bornfeld
>                            Brooklyn
>Maria Luna P.T. and Mark Bornfeld D.D.S.
>Brooklyn, NY   718-258-5001

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