Goodbye smelly tree: South Carolina to ban sale of invasive Bradford pear trees

South Carolina News

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – South Carolina is looking to put an end to a tree that often emits a foul odor when it begins to bloom in early spring.

The Bradford pear was first introduced to the United States in 1909, but began to cross-pollinate and produce fruit in the 2000s – those fruits were then spread by birds.

When it blooms in the spring, the tree, also referred to as Callery, produces white flowers before it leafs out. The flowers are pungent and unpleasant-smelling.

South Carolina could become one of two states in the U.S. to ban the sale of Bradford pear trees, which is considered invasive and often prevents native plants from flourishing.

Researchers with Clemson University’s College of Agriculture say the ban on sales will begin on October 1st, 2024 – the annual nursery licensing renewal date in South Carolina.

“The additions of Pyrus calleryana — or Callery pear — along with three species of Elaeagnus to the State Plant Pest List met the approval of state agency representatives and the director of Clemson’s Regulatory and Public Service Programs,” Clemson University said. “The clock is now ticking on a grandfathering period of a little more than 3 years for the nursery industry to comply with the new regulations by ceasing sale of these plant species.”

While the ban will make the plants illegal to sell or trade, they will not be illegal to possess and you won’t be required to remove them from your property.

You can read more about the Bradford Pear and the move to eradicate them in South Carolina by clicking here.

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