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Gingko trees stinking up parts of the city

October 12, 2012 1:29:24 PM PDT
In a city as big as New York, it's hard to go far without picking up out of the ordinary odors, but this stench is unspeakable for some.

"Dog droppings, it doesn't smell good," said one resident.

"Smells like garbage, don't like the smell at all. It doesn't smell as pretty as it looks," said Victor Cansellis, a Bay Ridge resident. The Ginkgo tree produces a messy fruit in the shape of a ball.

It drops and then splits open.

The unpleasant odor has had one man in Bay Ridge raising a big stink every fall for almost half a century.

"46 years," said Richard Mahany, a Bay Ridge resident.

Year after year around the first frost the smell arrives.

"Putrid, sticks on anything," Mahany said.

It mucks up the sidewalks and even dents neighborhood cars.

He used to clean it for weeks on end.

"I'm 77 I'm not doing it anymore," Mahany said.

It's upsetting after he's begged pleaded and petitioned the city but the odors lingers.

"I'll be gone before it is," Mahany said.

Believe it or not, some people come into Central Park to pick the Gingko berries, arguing this tree is not a total stinker!

"People come to collect the fruit, people eat it after it is roasted and processed," said Neil Calvanese, of the Central Park Conservancy, "Ginkgo is one of the most attractive golden, and not to be missed, one of the great fall color trees."

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