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Bradford pear is in the news again

An email about Bradford pear trees from fellow Master Gardener Rose Sullivan and an article in the newspaper concerning a North Carolina bounty on Bradford pears revived my interest in spreading the word about these unpleasant trees. Years of unsuccessful attempts to dissuade nurseries from selling the trees and property owners from planting them have led some states to take drastic elimination measures. Beginning on April 23, North Carolina residents can register to receive up to five native trees to replace Bradford pears on their property. South Carolina has a similar bounty, and a few states, including Ohio and Pennsylvania, have banned sales of Bradford pear trees.

Bradford pears develop attractive rounded or conical crowns and produce masses of beautiful white flowers every spring. The fall color is attractive. So why are states placing bounties on existing trees and banning sales?

Callery pear (Pyrus callerana) is an Asian native. The species was introduced to North Ameri...

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