The stink trees of Boston are in bloom

So before you start looking for a smelly cat, see if there are any ailanthus trees around.



      Free tagging: 


      indicator species

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      Hey, at least they don't have picky feet. Try to get a eastern
      hemlock to grow in the city, or something like that. Fat chance.

      In other news, the Basswood trees of Boston are in bloom.

      Do these trees smell like sneeze?

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      Are these the same trees that smell like sneezes? You know, that sweet floral-hay-pollen-mucus smell (it's hard to describe) that appears momentarily after a sneeze? There's some tree in Brookline, probably Boston too, that smells like that. A friend of mine also compared the smell of these "sneeze trees" to semen. I didn't realize semen had a smell. I guess I never really get any near my nose.

      I certainly don't think sneezes smell like cat urine though. I'm thinking these trees aren't the same as the sneeze trees, but I'd like to know what kind of trees smell like sneeze.

      Can anyone help me please?

      Someone in college called

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      Someone in college called them "cum trees" can't find a better description of the smell myself.

      Where to find some to check.

      I don't know if they are the ones you mean but I can tell you where to find some stinky ones if you want to go and take a sniff.

      If you get over to Newbury Street in the next week or so, head for the Commonwealth Avenue Mall on Hereford Street and stop at the first alley. They are on both sides of the street, right above the green droppings in the gutter and on the sidewalk.

      See this week's New Yorker

      Talk of the Town: Smelly Trees

      The Anti-Ginkgo Tolerance Group put it this way, in a recent proposal:

      We are here to solve the problem of the Ginkgo tree commonly known as vomit trees. . . . The Ginkgo tree is widely known by most people but not by name. Walking down the street on a beautiful October evening your moment of tranquility is rudely demolished by the smell of old cheese and vomit.

      I love the Ginkgo trees.

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      I love the Ginkgo trees. there are not may in the city and they are all in various stages of dying as the soil is not acidic enough to support them. They have the most beautiful leaf of all of the "street trees" found in the city. They can be found in the Chinatown portion of the greenway, in front of One Lincoln, and in random spots along Comm Ave in Brighton. They are so unique and most certainly do not smell like vomit.

      Thats right, I think I've

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      Thats right, I think I've seen them on boulevard terrace. There are a bunch between Wallingford and Washington but they are being phased out as they die. 4-5 of them were cut down last yeat. There is a random one in the B-line resevation between Leamington and Wallingford that is an interesting tree in the way that it is hanging on in such a tough location.

      Soap Trees

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      There is some kind of tree around Newton Centre that fills the air with a soapy smell -- not really unpleasant but not "let's inhale this wonderful scent" either (as with the magnolias). I haven't even been able to determine what trees (or shrubs?) are associated with this smell, but it's not the same as the Ailanthus odor.

      Speaking of that, it must be pretty stinky around Longwood; you can see all the large "Trees of Heaven" in bloom near the T stop.

      My sympathies to allergy sufferers.

      More fun comments about the Tree of Heaven

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      If you want many, many more fun comments about the beautiful features of stink trees Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima), go no further than Daves Garden.

      Some examples:

      ...the neighbour's yard harbours a large and sexually productive individual that keeps dropping seeds...

      They also seem to inhibit growth of other plants when they are growing (except for swallow wort)...

      Be careful of pulling the sprouts up; the milky sap can cause a nasty reaction...

      The trees give the lanscape the tropical view, add to the air the peculiar scent and make local cows' milk spicy...

      But, sadly, the rats of Allston cannot be called upon to rid us of the Trees of Heaven:

      I also found out..rats won't eat [Ailanthus]... But those lousy rodents never once touched the [Ailanthus].