Have you ever seen those pretty trees in some yards and along some highways that bloom white? Those are Bradford Pear Trees, and they’re an invasive species. That means they’re not native to and can cause notable problems for the southeastern ecosystem.
One of the reasons Bradford Pear Trees were planted all over the southeast was because they’re sterile, but Clemson Assistant Professor of Forest Health and Invasive Species David Coyle said isn’t the case.
“What actually happens is they can go feral if you will, and they can be pollinated,” Coyle said. “This is why we’re seeing these white trees start to bloom all over the state, all over the roadsides, the ditches, old fields, and those are called Callery Pears. Those are extremely bad for a lot of reasons. They’re bad for biodiversity, they have really shard thorns on them, they can pop tires, injure animals, it costs a lot of money to get them off your property once you have them on there. And they all start from the Bradford Pear.”
To combat this issue, Coyle and Clemson University are holding a Bradford Pear Bounty Event. Individuals can sign up on the event website and show up in person showing they have removed a number of Bradford Pear Trees from their yard.
Then, Clemson will give you an equivalent number of native trees, up to a maximum of five, for you to replace your removed Bradford Pears.
This is the second year of the event, and this year’s event is this weekend on Saturday the 13th.
Coyle said the event was very successful last year, giving out roughly 200 trees to individuals to replace their Bradford Pears. Over 150 people have already signed up this year, and Coyle said he expects a notable amount of people will likely sign up the few days before the event as well.
If you want to get involved, visit the Bradford Pear Bounty web page here.
For the full details of The Bradford Pear Tree and its affects on the southeast as an invasive species, visit the Bradford Pear Bounty web page or listen to the full interview with Clemson Forest Health and Invasive Species Professor David Coyle below: