Me: “Hey, have you ever heard of a cum tree?”
S: “A what?”
Me: “A cum tree.”
S: “A country?”
Me: “No, a cum tree. Two words. A cum tree.”
S: “A cunt tree?”
Me: “No, a cum tree. C – U – M… T – R – E – E.”
S: “Um. No.”
Me: “So you’ve never smelled one?”
S: “Nooooooooo…. What are you talking about? Is this a euphemism for a penis?”
Me: “No, it’s a tree. Outside. A tree.”
S: “Oh, it’s an actual tree?”
Me: “Yeah.”
S: “Is that the actual name of it?”
Me: “No, I don’t know what kind of tree it is. That’s what I was wondering. Some friends called it a cum tree a few years back while we were walking through downtown Asheville. That’s when I smelled it the first time.”
S: “You know, now that you mention it, I used to take drives to Chicago, and on the way I would always smell…jizz.”
Me: “Man juice.”
S: “Baby batter.”
Me: “Spooge.”
S: “Man relish.”
Me: “Guy goop.”
S: “I thought maybe the smell was some type of…I don’t know…onion, maybe.”
Me: “Well, I smelled it again recently. Took me awhile to realize what it was. At my gym the other day, we dragged our bikes outside for a spinning class, and I kept getting a whiff of…something. Then I realized we were underneath those trees.”
S: “I wonder what kind of tree it really is.”
Me: “Dunno. Googled ‘cum tree’ last night, but plant-related results didn’t land near the top.”
S: “Hey, you should ask J. She is a master gardener, you know.”
Me: “That’s right, she is! And she will know what I’m talking about because she was the class instructor that day. Perfect, I will ask her.”
S: “Please make sure I’m there when you do. And make sure other people are standing around, too.”
Me: “Come on, let’s do it now. J and M are both sitting in the next room.”

So we walk over to find J and M talkin’ shop at a small conference table…

Me: “Hey, J–we’ve got a question for you.”
J: “Yes?”
S: “There’s a tree…that has a particular….smell….”
J: “You mean a Bradford pear tree?”
Me: “Are those Bradford pear trees outside the gym?”
J: “Yes, they are.”
S: “Does the tree…have a nickname?”
J: “Hmm?”
S: “Do people call it a cum tree?”
M: “Oh, I know what you’re talking about. It smells like semen.”
J: “You know, it’s funny. Some people can’t smell it at all, but the ones who do smell it, think it reeks–no one actually likes the smell. It is a very popular tree, though.”
S: “Oh, yeah? Why?”
J: “Well, for one thing, it grows very fast.”
S: “Really, it grows fast? Does it grow very tall?”
J: “Yes, quite tall and straight. It also has a nice shape and an early bloom.”
S: “How interesting. And the top of the tree–does it get pretty full? Plump? Like it has a big head?”
J: “Oh, yes. It gets very full. Sometimes it gets so heavy that it falls over.”
S: “You’re kidding me. It will fall over, limp?”
M: “Like it’s had too much to drink?”
J: “Correct. Or it may break.”
S: “So sometimes the trunk is not strong enough?”
J: “Correct.”
S: “Wow. That is interesting.”

Fast facts
According to Clemson University’s online Home & Garden Information Center, the Bradford pear tree…
– Grows up to 50 feet tall and 30 feet wide.
– Has a narrow and erect canopy.
– Is a rapid grower, but has a short life span.
– Sprouts showy white flowers in the springtime which, unfortunately, have an unpleasant fragrance.
– Also bears small, round, brown fruit which are hidden by the leaves.
– Can be used in urban settings because of its tolerance to pollution.
– Is relatively free of insect problems, but can suffer from severe branch splitting.
– Requires low-to-medium fertility.
– Tolerates most conditions, including occasional wet soils or drought.