It is a phenomenon to say the least astonishing on which lingered 76 news, Sunday October 17. In the fall, each year, a nauseating odor would arise in a district of Rouen (Seine-Maritime). At this time of year, Avenue Pasteur, near the prefecture, would smell of vomit. The problem would come from the trees, implanted along this artery. A smell that bothers residents and students of law, economics and management.
According to Jézabel Saumur, responsible for the tree heritage of the City of Rouen, the culprits are the ginkgo biloba. The “eggs” of these female trees, planted in 2001, should be the source of this unpleasant odor. “It is in particular butyric acid which, by degrading, can make think of an odor of Parmesan, of rancid butter or, indeed, of gastric contents”, explains it to Actu Normandie.
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The municipality is said to have acquired male ginkgo biloba from a Dutch nurseryman, but it turns out that 19 of its 41 trees are female, now sexually mature. When the town hall noticed his blunder, it was too late to return them. Despite numerous complaints from residents, the City of Rouen has decided not to cut down these trees. “The nuisance is very occasional, it lasts for about a month in autumn. (…) But we must say that this is part of the inconvenience of life with a tree heritage”, underlines Jézabel Saumur.
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