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Ginkgo Trees Making A Stink In New York City Parks

Stench Compared To 'Vomit'; Experts: Unpleasant Smell To Last A Few Weeks
Fruit on ginkgo tree  (credit: CBS 2)

Fruit on ginkgo tree (credit: CBS 2)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Some trees around New York City are causing a stink.

The fruit of the female ginkgo trees release their odor for a few weeks each fall.

One woman said the smell is almost unbearable.

“The smell is just horrible. It actually smells like vomit,” the woman told CBS 2’s Vanessa Murdock.

“I attributed that to the dogs,” a man told Murdock.

But tree experts said the few weeks of unpleasant aromas are worth it for the beauty the trees add to parks the rest of the year.

“It’s a warm, lush golden color, shimmers in the fall sunlight,” Neil Calvanese of the Central Park Conservatory told Murdock. But Calvanese admitted the fruit smells like, “warm rancid butter.”

The ginkgo nut can be toxic to eat raw, but is used as a health supplement to treat colds.

“It’s mostly known for helping expel phlegm and stop wheezing if you come down with a cold,” Chinese herbalist Kathryn Sanders told Murdock. “It’s usually slightly dried or baked so that those toxic qualities are diminished.”

Sanders said the timing of the ginkgo fruit harvest times perfectly with the cold and flu season.

The leaves of the trees are also used for medicinal purposes, added to supplements as a memory booster.

Have you smelled the ginkgo trees this fall? What do you think it smells like? Sound off below…