Ask NOW: Some gingko trees producing foul odor

Dec. 28, 2011

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Some gingko trees producing a foul odor

Issue: A reader recently moved to Wauwatosa and has noticed that the city has planted gingko trees throughout the area. She noticed that some of the trees have a foul smell, and she wants to know when and why the city planted the trees.

Status: Ken Walbrant, superintendent of the forestry department, explained that female gingko trees produce fruit, which produces the strong odor the resident complained about. However, male trees do not produce the fruit and should not smell.

Walbrant explained that the city began planting these trees about 20 years ago and has only planted male trees. However, some of the older trees have changed sexes throughout their lives and began producing fruit. Only the older trees have changed sexes and the new ones should not have this problem.

The city has received complaints and removed a couple of these trees, Walbrant said. If a resident has a concern about a specific tree in front of their residence or place of business he will look into it. If the forestry department determines it is a problem, it will remove the tree.

Wauwatosa NOW .com

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