A program exchanges Bradford pear for native trees

Clemson University and the SC Forestry Commission have teamed up for a project in which homeowners are offered the opportunity to replace their Bradford pear trees with native trees.

Bradford pears have gained recognition for their beautiful blossoms, but they are also notorious for emitting a strong odor. Although they can be found throughout South Carolina, these trees are not native to the United States. The University highlights that Bradford pear trees are a major contributor to the invasive plant species known as the Callery pear, which is considered one of the most problematic in the Southeast.

Invasive species possess three key characteristics, as stated by Clemson. Firstly, they originate from a different location than where they are currently found. Secondly, they cause significant economic or ecological harm. And finally, they displace native species. In the case of the Bradford pear trees, experts have identified several concerns. These trees are structurally weak, posing a threat to native trees. Additionally, they contribute to the creation of food deserts, negatively impacting local wildlife.

Starting in 2024, South Carolina has officially banned the Bradford pear. However, residents can still keep a Bradford pear tree in their yard, as long as it was acquired before the ban. The new regulation prohibits the buying and selling of these trees within the state.

The University aims to enhance the diversity of the urban landscape by replacing Bradford pears with native trees. This initiative will effectively reduce the growth of Callery pears, as it decreases the amount of seed available for them to develop.

Read More:  Understanding the Legal Landscape of Pocket Knives in South Carolina

Property owners have the opportunity to swap up to five Bradford pear trees for an equal number of complimentary native replacement trees. If you wish to take part in this program, simply visit Clemson’s website and click on the Bradford Pear Bounty section. There, you can register for one of the tree exchange events. Remember, pre-registration is mandatory, and only property owners in South Carolina are eligible to register and receive the replacement trees. Additionally, property owners are responsible for the removal of the Bradford pear trees.

Participants are required to capture a photograph of themselves alongside the tree and present this image at the exchange event. Replacement trees will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, subject to availability. Clemson assures that they will offer a healthy alternative in case the preferred replacement tree is not in stock.

Property owners are advised to get in touch with a licensed tree professional when they need to remove a tree from their property. According to the University, it is important to treat cut stumps with an herbicide like glyphosate or triclopyr immediately after removal to prevent any resprouting of stumps and large roots.

Make sure to contact your local yard debris removal service to ensure that you dispose of tree limbs correctly.

Leave a Comment