The needler in the haystack.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Shade tree workshop could help stop unwanted sex in your front yard

Unwanted outcome of tree sex.

A free workshop on Saturday could help stop the unwanted outcome of tree sex on your front lawn.

The Plainfield Shade Tree Commission is hosting the workshop on the selection, care and planting of young trees at the Plainfield Public Library's Anne Louise Davis Meeting Room from 10:00 AM to Noon.

The presenter will be Pam Zipse, trainer for the NJ Shade Tree Foundation. Her presentation will be followed by a Q&A for your questions about tree issues.

Plainfield's Shade Tree Commission has worked to oversee the care and replacement of city-owned 'street trees' throughout the city.

Shade trees, which beautify our neighborhoods and help to cool us during the summer months perform many other important chores, including removing carbon dioxide and producing oxygen, as well as removing carbon from the atmosphere.

The unwanted outcome of tree sex on your front lawn?

I had in mind ginkgo trees, which are common and useful in Plainfield as attractive, hardy, disease resistant and pollution-immune.

However, the ginkgo is a 'sexed' tree -- with separate male and female plants. You do NOT want them having sex in your front yard.

The male is unobjectionable, but the lovely plum-like fruits borne by the fertilized female are obnoxious. Thousands of the ripened fruits will drop from a female tree and fill the air with an overwhelming and unrelenting smell of dog poop if allowed to rot on the ground.

The seeds, however, are edible and considered a delicacy in many Asian cuisines. If you're interested, read more at the Serious Eats blog here.

If you want to check out a couple of local examples, see the specimens on Central Avenue near bend at the corner of West 9th Street, and on Radcliffe Place or Lansdowne Terrace (I can't remember exactly which).

The workshop is free and open to the public. The Plainfield Public Library is at Park Avenue and West 8th Street and is an accessible facility. Parking is available in the 8th and 9th Street lots.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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