'Ginkgo Fest' To Clear The Air Around Stinky Trees, Embrace Fall Foliage

Nov 6, 2015

Tree Pittsburgh's "Ginkgo Fest" hopes to give people a better understanding of the notoriously stinky Ginkgo Biloba tree, as well as celebrate the city's fall foliage.
Credit Kylie Stackis / Tree Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh's fall foliage is expected to produce the peak, prismatic experience this weekend.

To celebrate, Tree Pittsburgh will host "Ginkgo Fest" from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Maple Grove Shelter in Highland Park honoring the city’s colorful Ginkgo Biloba trees. 

“Ginkgos have this very distinctive fan-shaped leaf, and in the fall they have a brilliant gold color, so they’re a very beautiful fall tree,” said Kylie Stackis, program assistant with Tree Pittsburgh.

Stackis said the trees, native to Japan and Asia, are popular in Pittsburgh because of their urban tolerance. They’re also known for another attribute.

“The female Ginkgo tree produces a fruit that smells – some people say smells – like dog poop. Some people say they smell like vomit. There are various descriptions,” Stackis said.

But the people at Tree Pittsburgh are hoping attendees walk away with a more positive view of Ginkgos.

At Saturday’s event, organizers will also measure the “champion” Ginkgo tree in Highland Park, Pittsburgh's largest known specimen.

The family-friendly event will also feature walking tours, a children’s book reading, origami demonstrations and performances.