We have a tree in between the end of our driveway and the neighbor's. It is absolutely beautiful, has great form, and makes a lovely climbing tree. In the fall, it turns a brilliant yellow and the leaves carpet the ground in a golden array.
But before the leaves drop, the fruit does, and then the crap really hits the fan. Lord help us if you step on any of it, and when I drive over some of the plum-like fruits, the stench clings to the tires like so much dog doo.
We have a ginkgo tree. And while some places actually ban planting them because the stench of the fruit is foul enough to send people packing, it is actually a sacred tree in the far east. Apparently, the fruit can be harvested for the seeds inside. After the nuts are cleaned and roasted, they are a delicacy.
These trees have a specific gender, and only the female trees bear fruit. (duh) Males are specifically propogated for nurseries, because who wants to plant a tree in the yard that eventually poops on the lawn?
It takes about twenty to thirty years for a tree to bear fruit. Can you imagine planting a tree that you thought was male and thirty years later finding out it is really female?
If you do purchase one from a nursery, be sure to put the receipt somewhere it will be safe for thirty years, so if it crosses gender, which this tree has been known to do, you can return it for a refund.