Pat Kennedy - Your Washington, DC Real Estate Connection


Washington's Last Leaves - Our Ginkgo Trees

 When I first moved to Washington, DC from New York, I was struck by the abundance of trees in the city.  And lining the street of my new home in the Valley Vista Apartments (now the Valley Vista Condominium), where about twenty beautiful Ginkgo trees.

What's noteworthy are the beautiful leaves.  They are fan shaped, and come out a bright green in the spring and turn into a rich, darker shade as summer progresses.  In the fall, they turn bright yellow, and they covered the streets and sidewalks as I walked down the hill from Connecticut Avenue to the front door of the building.

As we move from fall to winter, the Ginkgo trees are among the last to lose their leaves.  I took these shots a couple of days ago right after a wind storm cleaned the branches of most of the city's branches.

But springtime is when you can really notice these beautiful trees.  While they produce bright green fan-shaped leaves, they also bear fruit - unless the city remembers to spray them in late summer!  And for several years during the time I was in the Valley Vista, our Ginkgos did not get their dose of tree birth control.

The Ginkgo fruits would fall to the ground, get stepped on, and get slippery - we worried about the old ladies in the building slipping on their trip down the hill.   

But there was something else.  The fruit of this lovely tree smells really, really bad when someone steps on it.  Like the most intense dog poop you could imagine!  And once it gets onto your Ferregamos, it takes years to dissipate. 

My apartment would take on aura of Ginkgo!


We now have an energetic young mayor who has our Department of Public Works on full alert for picking up the trash, filling potholes and spraying the Ginkgo trees.  And this will help to make Washington a much more beautiful and livable city!

Comment balloon 16 commentsPatricia Kennedy • November 29 2007 08:07AM


Patricia, Thanks for sharing these photos.  Love the trees.  What I noticed is the number of cars on the street and the condos lining the street. I would have to learn to parallel park if I lived there...ha.   In D.C. I imagine that is very common as it is small in land size.  In Texas we have wide open spaces but don't have the variety of guess no matter where you live, you can't everything.  I am fascinated with D.C. and hope to go back again one day for a vacation.
Posted by Kay Perry (Kay Perry, Broker) over 12 years ago
Kay, I am such a good parallel parker it is amazing!  You pick it up fast - and that was a neighborhood where you came home at night and the hydrants were taken!
Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) over 12 years ago

I look out over a 400 acre nature reserve and I can officially say that the leaves are 90% off the trees.  The good news is I can now see the river the bad news is I miss the leaves on the trees :-(

I had no idea that the Ginko fruit was so nasty.  Isn't Ginko supposed to be good for your health?

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) over 12 years ago
What gorgeous photos.  You do live in a beautiful city! 
Posted by Natalie Langford, Winchester, VA Real Estate (Realty Negotiations) over 12 years ago

Cindy, It's what we call a "winter view"!  And yes, Ginkgo poop is pretty terrible!

Natalie, Thanks!  I always have my little camera in my purse looking for blog or photo ideas!

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) over 12 years ago

Patricia-  You amaze me.....

Patricia Kennedy... REALTOR, Book-writer, Superb Parallel parker AND Horticulturist... actually a Dendrologist (the study of trees) -but who knows what THAT is! 

They are very pretty trees and now I what kind they are!  Thanks for sharing the pictures.

Posted by James Downing - Metro DC Houses Team REALTORS®, CRS, GRI, ABR,MRP, MilRes, When Looking to Buy or Sell - Make the Right Move (Real Living | At Home) over 12 years ago
Patricia, great pictures. I have lost almost all the leaves on the trees at my house and I am so happy.
Posted by Danny Thornton, WordPress Guru (R & D Art) over 12 years ago

James, I don't know that you can say I actually "studied" these trees, though I certainly observed them closely over the years, especially when their stinky little fruit found it's way onto my shoe!

And Danny, I'm sorta missing the leaves around here!  Maybe, like Cindy, your view has improved!

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) over 12 years ago
Beautiful photos, Patricia - and interesting information about the ginkgo trees. We're lucky here in Florida to have green trees throughout the year - and still have flowering trees to note the seasons.
Posted by Sharon Simms, St. Petersburg FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS (Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International) over 12 years ago
Patricia - wonderful photos of my favorite city in our wonderful country!!!!
Posted by Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor (Charles Rutenberg Realty) over 12 years ago

Pat, awesome pictures...what a lovely street you live on!  I'm envious :)

Posted by Mary Warren over 12 years ago
Great pictures!  I'm sure it surprises some people to see so many trees lining a street like that.
Posted by Krista Fuchs, Chester County Realtor - (484) 459-8025 - Home Buying and Selling (Prudential Fox & Roach) over 12 years ago
Patricia - Now I know even more joys of Washington, D.C. - thanks for sharing this with us. 
Posted by Matthew Rosov, Certified Mortgage Planning Specialist (Amerisave Mortgage Corporation) over 12 years ago

Hi Patricia,

I just love Washington.  Those 3 story townhomes are certainly different from my market.  I have so many moving here from DC and they are looking for the same - to no avail. 

That said, you make a great point.  If you're happy and you know it stick around.  If you're not it's time for a reassesment.  I'm in it for the long haul.  Let's stay in touch.

Posted by Tracy Santrock, Raleigh - Cary Realtor/Broker In Charge (Fonville Morisey/Santrock Realty Group, Inc. ) over 12 years ago
Patricia- I just love reading your posts about your neighborhood and what is up in your daily life. These trees are so pretty! I love streets lined with trees! Katerina
Posted by Katerina Gasset, Get It Done For Me Virtual Services (Get It Done For Me Virtual Services ) over 12 years ago
I've never seen that kind of tree before and with the smell you describe. It sounds like I want to do it from a distance! Can you eat the fruit that is produces or it designed to just smell up the neighborhood.
Posted by Respect Realty LLC, Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate (Respect Realty LLC) over 12 years ago