A new answer to a decades-old mystery!! The "sperm trees" of LA

A friend from England posted this little note on facebook about trees getting their revenge for excessive pruning. The mention of a gonad-like odour reminded me immediately of Cecil’s column about the “sperm trees” of LA (and other irrelevant details such a nipple piercing.) Here we have it – say hello to the callery pear!!

C R Aha! Beg to report that the arborēs almost got a bit of their own back last week… I was en route to the supermarket when I heard a sharp crack; a large bough of a callery pear tree landed on the sidewalk a few (okay, maybe 20) feet away. An early snowfall while the leaves were still on the trees—whose wood is notoriously brittle and whose blossoms smell like gonads in the springtime—had overtaxed the poor old things. The sidewalk was littered with fallen branches on both sides of the street. The London plane trees, OTOH, had stayed calm and carried on, needless to say. [MH]

When you say 'LA", do you mean ‘LA’, or ‘L.A.’? I’m from L.A., and I never heard of ‘sperm trees’. On the other hand, I’ve been to LA many times and never heard of them there either.

Los Angeles, no doubt about it.

It’s a reference to one of Cecil’s columns back in 1985, with updates through '96
…and elsewhere…