Bradford pear trees will be officially banned in SC in 2024

GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) – Nursery owners are working to clear their stock of Bradford pear trees by 2024, when they are officially banned in South Carolina. Experts also encourage homeowners to replace Bradford pear trees on their property with native trees if possible.

“They are an annoying tree, very difficult to get rid of completely,” said Davis Sanders, who works at South Pleasantburg Nursery. “Pollen is very allergenic and has a very bad smell. There is really nothing good about that tree.”

Bradford pear trees are invasive, but have been planted far and wide in the southeast. But experts said they are structurally weak, threatening native trees and creating food deserts for local wildlife.

“It’s not native here, so many of our insects do not live off it,” said David Jenkins, Forest Health Program Manager for the SC Forestry Commission. “And our birds feed on insects, so it’s a cascade effect, and that Bradford tree takes place of a native tree that would support a large population of our native insects and then on birds.”

Jenkins said the trees have thorns that make them difficult to remove. Clemson University recommends hiring a licensed wood removal expert to handle a Bradford bulb you no longer want on your property.

Under the ban, you can still have a Bradford pear tree in your garden – they just can not be bought or sold in the state after 2024.

“If you have one in your yard, it would be better to replace it with something native that will support our native ecosystem,” Jenkins said.

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