A Pandemic Returns

A Pandemic Returns

As the summer finally fades, a fear has started spreading throughout the land. It was just last winter when we were blindsided by a pandemic the breadth of which few had seen before. The government has taken action to avoid another break-out, but we will not know how effective their efforts have been until it’s too late to do anything else.

Yes, be afraid: it’s Ginkgo season again.

The putrid seed of Ginkgogate 2008 was sowed when the District Urban Forestry Administration thought that injecting all the trees with a Vitamin C-based serum would cut back on the production of the hated Ginkgo berries. Turns out the exact opposite is true. There were still berries on the trees by the time the leaves came back in April.

They went back to the old spraying method this year. Now as the rancid stench of the berries has hit our sidewalks again, all we can do is pray. Will it be over and done with by late November like it traditionally has, or will be still be tip-toeing through the mine-fields straight through spring again?



Filed under Around Town

4 responses to “A Pandemic Returns

  1. So timely of you to post on this: I was walking back into the village last evening along PA Avenue and thought, “What’s that familiar, unpleasant smell?” I saw my first smashed ginkgo berries of the season in front of Hu’s Wear.

  2. Pingback: Our Morning Roundup: Hipsters Discover Skeeball - City Desk - Washington City Paper

  3. Tony

    Face it DC government – spraying ginkgos does not work! Instead of throwing good money after bad trying to prevent these ridiculous trees from spreading their foul smelling fruits, it is time to get real and just eliminate (i.e. chop down) all the female ginkgos in the city. Then plant some other trees that are less offensive. With all the species to choose from, why would anyone in their right mind choose one with stinking berries? Ginkgo trees don’t even look good when mature! Plus with the lack of watering these trees get once planted, they are all stunted and runted and ugly. Note to the tree department – ginkgos are ornamental trees; they are not supposed to line the block en masse. Throw in that their berries smell like a baby’s diaper filled with vomited Indian food, and it’s just plain dumb to keep these stupid annoying trees around. Ah yes, we’re talking about DC…

    I have the joy of living on a block where someone thought it would be oh-so-clever-and-cute to have nothing but ginkgos (hat person is rotting in hell I hope, and if there is a God that hell is filled with the stench of rotting ginkgo berries) and the city insists that nothing but ginkgos be planted on my block – it’s what is in the master plan, they say. I am “this far” from collecting a bag of ginkgo berries and going down to the city offices where such decisions are made, and grinding my bag of berries into their carpet so that their office can smell like my front porch, the carpet under my desk at work, the floor of my car, the soles of my shoes, my closet at home, and everywhere else this awful stench clings and makes like miserable. Either that or take matters into my own hands by way of a chain saw. CHOP DOWN ALL THE STINK BERRY GINKGOS AND DON’T EVER PLANT ANOTHER GINKGO!

  4. Tony, the irony is that they first began arriving in the U.S. after the Revolution, when rich people would have them in their gardens as exotic oriental specimens, but they only really took off in public popularity because Frank Lloyd Wright pushed them. I’d be curious just how long these non-native species have been considered to be part of said “master plan” for Georgetown, where we do not, so far as I am are, have any significant concentration of either Arts & Crafts or Prairie-style architecture…

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