There's a pungent smell making its way through Sacramento, and chances are it's caused your nostrils to flair.
Some say it smells like dog poop, others say vomit. But the odor comes from fruit on a tree commonly found all over the Valley. It’s called the Ginkgo Biloba.
In October, Norma Westwick's Ginko tree drops a full garbage can full of the smelly fruit on her yard.
"It’s a beautiful tree but it a lot of work." Westwick said. "They fall on the sidewalk and when people step on them... That’s when you smell it."
The fruit is a nuisance to Westwick, but every year she gets help cleaning up the fruit.
"A lot of times, people from the older Asian population pick them up by the bucket." Westwick said.
The nut inside the stinky fruit is a delicious in many Asian cultures and are known to have various health benefits. Removing the smell from the nuts requires some work and there are several ways to cook them.
If you don't want to do the dirty work you can find prepared nuts at most Asian markets.
The trees also have historic roots in China, according Sacramento Tree Foundation arborist Pamela Sanchez.
"These trees are very similar in form to what has been around since the time of the dinosaurs." Sanchez said.
The Ginko tree is one tough tree and they do really will in urban or polluted areas. That’s why the SMUD and Sacramento Tree Foundation encourage home owners to plant them.
"Most people chose to plant the male tree instead of the female tree, which has fruit." Sanchez said, noting that sometimes that doesn't help. There is proof that Ginkgo trees sometimes change sex for unknown reasons. "They really are a wonderful tree and the smell only lasts a short while."
The Sacramento Tree Foundation offer free trees and advice. Go to their website for details: www.sactree.com
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