What Grinds My Gears: UCI Trees

What Grinds My Gearss (Use)

By Michelle Bui

For the first time in weeks, the storms of El Niño had subsided. Wearing flats instead of boots, I walked leisurely under the radiating sun with my friend to Humanities Core. We were making our way up the incline towards Biological Sciences III when my friend suddenly stopped.

“Do you smell that?” she asked in an irritated tone.

I took one sniff and I knew exactly what she was talking about. I was suddenly filled with feelings of displeasure and disgust.

Situated by Biological Sciences III, stands a bunch of trees, classified as pyrus calleryana. According to its Wikipedia entry, the pyrus calleryana has a distinctive stench resembling rotten fish.

We had almost forgotten about the trees over winter break and with the onset of the wild weather afterwards. They terrorized us all fall quarter, their putrid smell waiting to make us cringe as we walked by. I would hold my breath as I trudged up the incline. When winter and the El Niño storms came, I was relieved to finally be rid of them.

But here they were again, back for a second time, to make our trips more of a drag than they already were. Seriously, these trees have to go.

“It makes me nauseous when I walk by them, and if you’re sick, you shouldn’t walk by them. It makes me not want to go to class,” said first-year Erin Ballard.

While I don’t know if the trees pose any actual health problems, I do know that they are a problem for students. This should be enough to reconsider their presence on our campus. We have hundreds of trees on campus, and any of them could easily replace the ones by BSIII. If we want large trees, plant more eucalyptus trees. If we want trees with pretty blossoms, plant cherry blossom trees. Just don’t plant trees that give off strong rotten scents.

We as students already have a lot of little irritants to deal with — like the giant incline up to BSIII — and trees do not need to be another one.

If our school is trying to promote natural beauty with trees, or promote its eco-friendly image, then fine. But trees that smell make me want to cut down trees, not keep them around.

 

Michelle Bui is a first-year biological sciences major. She can be reached at mkbui@uci.edu.