(Howard Garrett / Special Contributor) Few problems. Q: I have a female ginkgo tree and my (lucky) next-door neighbor has two males. Although the skin of the fruit can irritate human skin like a poison ivy reaction, some use parts of the ginkgo for medicinal purposes. Female trees bear a fruit-like product (actually a seed ball) that not only emits a foul odor but also is slippery when it drops down on sidewalks or driveways. The fruit falls on to the ground or streets and when stepped on a bad odor is carried throughout. I only know of two ways to stop the production of the stinky fruit pods. Thanks! Female ginkgo tree bears oval to round, fleshy fruits about the size of small jujube (Chinese date). The Ginkgo tree, which dates back 200 million years, is the unsung hero of so many Southern neighborhoods. Ginkgo trees are also sexed as male or female. A new ginkgo … Also known as the Maidenhair Tree. One is to cut your tree down and replace it with a certified male ginko tree. “The smell is just horrible. A. It sounds refined, doesn't it? Fascinating! Close. Using the common name, "maidenhair trees" will help you remember an important fact: It is specifically the female that is messy. The fruit of the female ginkgo trees release their odor for a few weeks each fall. The acids in gingko fruit are similar to urushiol, the skin irritant found in poison ivy and poison oak. Female Plant A female Ginkgo biloba produces seeds that are covered by an outer layer, sometimes referred to as the fruit. The trees become large making them ideal shade trees. Ginkgo trees can be found all over Seoul and Manhattan. Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba). In Asia the female trees are grown to produce the Ginkgo nut food crop. The downside of this ornamental tree is the tendency for female trees to drop stinky fruits. This is because female trees produce a foul-smelling seed (or fruit). A tree with edible nuts (called ginnan), it can be found at a few izakaya tables when the season comes to harvest its fruit. That is why males are usually preferred for landscapes. The fruit of a female ginkgo tree . Male trees produce pollen, while females produce an odorous fruit containing the desired and edible seed called a Ginkgo nut. But there is a problem: This maiden is an awful slob. In some years females do not produce seeds; and even when they do, for all but a brief period in the spring, a male branch appears as an innocuous, seedless patch on the otherwise fruiting tree. Anyone who finds ripe female ginkgo fruit without a bad odor should save the seeds intact, and either plant them, or send them to someone like Oikos tree crops to be trialed. Female trees produce quite smelly fruit after 15-20 years. That said, I have heard that if the fruit is ripe but not allowed to become overripe, or rot, it has little or no odor. That must mean that you have a sizeable tree to deal with. One woman said the smell is almost unbearable. “Nuisance fruit” is a concern for many people including homeowners, landscapers, and park and city officials. One of the most interesting ginkgo tree facts is that urban planners only use male ginkgo trees for ornamental growth and landscaping. The female tree bears a plum-like cone with an ill smelling flesh, but the kernel is edible and sweet. Ginkgo trees are rare enough around here to be kinda special. Eugene Zelenko, GFDL via Wikimedia Commons. Female flowers are twin ovules at the end of a stem & set in clusters. Exposed fruit flesh, ... People who harvest ginkgo fruits would be wise to wear rubber gloves. I've loved ginkgo trees for years because of their neat fan-shaped leaves and the beautiful gold they turn in the fall. This fruit frequently makes a mess on lawns, paths, and sidewalks. It takes about 20 years of growth before you can tell if a ginkgo tree is male or female. Mature ginkgo tree bears fruits during September through November. Ginkgo are wind pollinated which is not surprising since there was no insect pollination when these trees first evolved. Yes, they are edible, but the fruits of the female ginkgo tree have a distinctive, unfriendly smell. Female varieties of the ginkgo tree produce a fruit that smells unpleasant. Size: 35’ to 50’ is common for many Ginkgoes. In Chinese and Japanese cultures ginkgo nuts are seen as symbols of hope and longevity. When young, female ginkgos—the seed-producing kind—are impossible to tell apart from male trees. Ginkgo biloba, commonly known as ginkgo or gingko, and also known as the maidenhair tree, is … The fruit stinks like rancid butter, which is designed to attract carnivorous animals—possibly dinosaurs, long ago! But maybe I've just never been around a female tree that has a male tree nearby. Our Minnesota arboretum is probably in a colder zone than you, but their female ginkgo trees are quite variable in fruit production from year to year. Diagnosis of contact dermatitis to ginkgo fruit should be made in cities where female ginkgo trees grow, in Chinese, Japanese and South‐East Asian subjects, who are aware of the ginkgo nut's culinary qualities within the fruit, as well as in children who play with the fallen fruits as “marbles”. Fruit Trees > Nut Trees > Ginkgo Tree. The female tree produces flowers that bloom at night and produce an orange-tan color fruit with seeds. Remove the container or wrapping around the roots of the tree. The female trees will produce the fruit which is basically a coated seed. Or maybe the male ginkgo tree(s) nearby that is needed for fertilization got cut down, and there is no pollen to fertilize the flowers on your tree. Studying sex-switching in predominately female ginkgo trees is much more difficult than examining the phenomenon in male ginkgo. Male trees will produce a cone structure to send out pollen. Although I didn't have a reaction, to be on the safe side, you may want to wear gloves when collecting it. Select a male cultivar of ginkgo tree, such as Saratoga, Autumn Gold or Princeton Sentry. So, sometimes trees have a cycle of fruit bearing, maybe every other year, maybe they bear for 2 years and stop for 3, and so on. Since you say your tree stopped bearing fruit, I assume that in the past it was bearing. The ginkgo tree is a hearty one that does well in urban environments and so is a preferable choice for landscaping in city settings. Opt for male species, or just send a prayer of gratitude that it's not a Bradford Pear. Most people in North America have no idea that the Ginkgo tree makes edible nuts, as most Ginkgo trees in North America are clones of male Ginkgo trees. Is there no way that the sex of a tree can be determined before it is planted? Slow growing and requires good soil and plenty of water during summer. The nut of the ginkgo … Tree Topics Young flowers of a female ginkgo. My research shows that the female ginko biloba tree does not produce seeds and fruit until it has been growing for 20-40 years. This is not a sexist remark if you’re addressing a dioecious tree — simplified, a tree that grows either male or female flowers on separate plants. Fruit Trees > Nut Trees > Ginkgo Tree > Ginkgo - Grafted Female This tree is used extensively as a landscape tree due to its picturesque, unusual shaped crown and autumn coloured foliage. The fruits and seeds of some trees and shrubs, such as buckthorn, mulberry, persimmon, and (female) ginkgo are unsightly, smelly, and have the potential to be a hazard when they fall on sidewalks, driveways, and other areas in a landscape. 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