DDOT Release: Ginkgo Spray Started Mon. Night

From a DDOT Press release:

To prevent the notoriously unpleasant odor of the popular ginkgo tree (Ginkgo biloba) from overtaking city streets, the District Department of Transportation’s Urban Forestry Administration (DDOT Trees) will begin spraying the unsavory smelling female ginkgo fruits tonight. DDOT Trees will use the same spray that has been used for the past several years, Shield-3EC 24(C).

Spraying will begin in Wards 1, 2 and 6, where female ginkgo trees are most prevalent, and continue through Wards 4, 3, 7, 8 and 5. Spraying will occur overnight for the next few nights and there is no need to move vehicles parked on streets.

For additional information please contact DDOT Trees at 202-671-5133.

Matt lamented this unpleasantness a couple of years ago. Anyone notice the smell this year?

34 Comment

  • Ok, if they’re gonna spray for ginko, can they just throw some mosquito shit in with that too?

  • I love gingkos. eff the haters!

    • Do you actually live on a gingko street? I love the trees for the relative shade they provide the street and the beautiful leaves in the fall, but seriously, this is a city service worth the cost. Even with the spraying, those berries have an absurdly potent smell that follows people inside on their shoes and makes the whole street unbearably smelly when bushels of these things are crushed under car tires. That truck was loud as hell and woke me up, but it was almost like a lullaby when I realized what it was.

      • +1

        They’re on my block, and the berries litter the sidewalk and end up getting trekked into the house and stinking things up. I love having the trees on my street, but yeah, I am in support of this spraying.

      • Do you actually live on a gingko street?

        And that’s the bottom line. Everyone loves pirates, too, unless they’re raping your daughter and making you walk the plank.

    • Clearly you have no sense of smell. The fact that a berry can produce a smell so perfectly combining poo and vomit is one of nature’s most disturbing miracles. And the berries are also perfectly sized so that they stick in your shoe treads allowing you to bring the smell indoors. Many times the refreshing smell of gingkoes has provided me with a lovely sense of nausea on a morning after one too many beers.

      Spraying doesn’t kill them, it just stops the berries (seeds) from being produced. I am surprised that Congress hasn’t stripped the ability of DC to provide birth control to trees. I expect to see that in the FY12 budget.

    • Seriously? It smells like vomit. Do you like living in vomit?

  • Load tree.

  • I wish they could do something about the male trees pollen cones. I’m out front sweeping up a garbage bag’s worth every week.

  • Just FYI – the city no longer plants female ginkgo trees anymore; only male ginkgo trees are planted. So at some point in the future the spraying won’t be needed anymore.

    I love ginkgo trees – nothing is more beautiful than a street lined with ginkgo in the fall!

  • always makes me think of “Swann Street” by Gray Matter. 🙂
    And I agree with the song, they smell like sh*t.

    • If it really is Endosulfan, this is an outrage:

      “Endosulfan is one of the most toxic pesticides on the market today, responsible for many fatal pesticide poisoning incidents around the world.[33] Endosulfan is also a xenoestrogen—a synthetic substance that imitates or enhances the effect of estrogens—and it can act as an endocrine disruptor, causing reproductive and developmental damage in both animals and humans.”

    • I am a little disturbed that a web search for Shield-3EC 24(C) turns up absolutely nothing except various notices that it will be sprayed. What is it made out of?

      • Prince Of Petworth

        Just got an update from DDOT at 7:15 Tues. evening:

        “The release that was issued yesterday by the District Department of Transportation Urban Forestry Administration (DDOT Trees) included the incorrect name for the type of chemical it is using to spray female ginkgo trees. The correct name for the chemical is Shield-EC (not Shield-3EC). DDOT Trees holds a special 24(C) registration for this chemical to supress fruiting ginkgo trees in the District.”

        • Thanks PoP! Although, “Shield-EC” doesn’t appear to yield many google results either. There’s Pyri-Shield EC, but that is a pesticide against bugs, which doesn’t make much sense unless a side effect goes against the fruit of a tree.

  • I wonder if this is one of those individual things, like how some people find broccoli to be unbearably bitter, or how some people think cilantro tastes like soap.

    I can’t smell the ginko fruit, at least, not much. I don’t doubt the experience of others. I guess I’m just lucky. (But keep your evil detergent-weed cilantro out of my burrito!)

    • Or asparagus pea.

    • Emmaleigh504

      I think a lot of people don’t know how badly these trees smell because DC does spray them. I have them near me and they are gorgeous in the fall and thankfully not usually smelly because of city spraying. Bring on the poison.

    • I don’t know, because I have a horrible sense of smell (leftover effect of spinal meningitis when I was a baby), but what I can smell typically smells awful. For years in the spring I walked around DC wondering “what is that stench?” until I moved onto a street with female ginko trees. That’s also when I learned to park in my driveway, and not in front of my house, because of the damage done to my paint job by the berries. Thankfully the ginko tree in front of my house finally died.

    • i feel bad for people that don’t like cilantro.

  • What is this “Shield-3EC 24(C)” made out of?

    • Are you serious or being facetious? I’d hate to think we’re blanketing the city in toxic chemicals just so we don’t have to smell a bad smell.

  • I’m generally in the camp of “if you can’t say something nice, at least make sure your nastiness is relevant”. But what is UP with that picture? Searching the PoP photo pool for “ginko” gets you nothing better than a dirty sidewalk?

    • The photo is completely relevant. It illustrates crushed Ginkgo berries, which smell like shit. Reading comprehension skills, folks. Use them.

  • The 1500 block of Spring Road is covered in their berries. It is difficult not to get their schmutz all over your shoes and inevitably wipe it all over the floor mats of your car.

    • And you track it into your house where it destroys your floors. And it falls on your car, where the berries explode and eat away the paint. Oh, and the berries fall for several months, and you can sweep them up by the garbage bag full.

      Did I say “sweep them up”? Actually you kind of shovel them up, because the ripe berries turn into a kind of sticky, vomit-in-cat-shit -smelling slurry that coats everything.

      Love male gingkos. Female gingkos should be strangled in the crib, turned into a Roundup smoothie, and fed to other female gingkos.

  • The spraying is inadequate.

    I suggest the city ACTIVELY CULL one female gingko tree per gingko block each year (or every few years) and replace it with a male until the nightmare is over.

  • So, ingesting poison into your body is better than briefly smelling foul odors? This is what we’ve come to?

    This is just as bad as the signs that warn children and animals from playing in the grass because it’s been sprayed in insecticide.

    • Agree. Endocrine disruptors? versus bad smells? Physically cull the trees if necessary, but please do not widely spread poison through the neighborhood (adding it to the others already out there.).

      I’m curious as to why DC needed a “special registration” to spray.

  • does anyone know what the actual chemical in the spray is? it doesnt seem to be on the web (other than some sort of computer security stuff)…

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