21 Apr 2020


What’s that (lack of) smell? Female ginkgo spraying in progress

DDOT logo via screenshot

If you’ve ever taken a crisp fall walk, only to encounter a smell that can best be described as the intoxicating mixture of vomit, baby crap and hangover breath, you know how unpleasant ginkgo berries –produced by female ginkgo trees– can be. The District Department of Transportation, in one of those inexplicable tasks that cannot be fully explained by anything other than “just because,” is the agency responsible for spraying the trees in the spring so as to prevent the production of the fruit of our nightmares. Read on from the press release:

The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) will begin the annual spraying of the female ginkgo street trees on April 20, 2020. The spraying will occur overnight from 9:00 p.m.  through 6:00 a.m., weather permitting

The annual spraying serves to reduce the formation of mature ginkgo fruit, which emits an offensive smell when it falls on sidewalks and roadways. DDOT will use the same spray it has used for the past 20 years, Shield-3EC 24(C)

Residents are advised that spraying will begin in Ward 5 and proceed to Wards 4, 3, 1, 2, 6, 7 and 8. Spraying will occur during the evening for several nights. There is no need to move vehicles.

For questions, please contact DDOT at (202) 671-5133 or visit ddot.dc.gov/page/female-ginkgo-tree-removal-policy for a map of all the female ginkgo trees, and other information.

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