Sunday, January 12, 2020

Those Sneezings and Wheezings Are Due to 'Sexism'

Given the sombre nature of my recent posts, I figured I needed to lighten things up a bit by posting some pop science. Atlas Obscura has a wonderful post about how the use of male ornamental plants has led to increasing severity of allergies. Landscapers tend to stick to male trees because female trees produce fruit, which tend to create messes when the fruits fall onto the ground. As a firm believer in usufruct, I am of the opinion that female and male/female trees would be a useful addition to landscapes urban and suburban, with no restrictions on usufruct. I'm fortunate to live in an area where there are plenty of mulberry trees and a handful of precious cherry trees, and I work at a site which has apple, quince, and cherry trees in a relic orchard (sadly, the lone peach tree has given up the ghost).

One of the trees mentioned in the article, the ginkgo, produces edible seeds, but the fruits stink like puke... and handling them can cause dermatitis. Even as a committed forager, I haven't brought myself to grab any- I always forget when they are in season, and I really don't want to transport a bag of vomit-aroma fruits either in my car or on public transportation. Every once in a while, I get ginkgo curious, when I smell that characteristic aroma, but the desire to have a habitable car dissuades me.

Anyway, the article is a fun, informative read, and it will give you insights into why you are suffering in the Spring... hopefully, landscapers will get over their 'botanical sexism' as they replace trees lost to age or misfortune.

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