It seems like the first sign of spring is always blooming Bradford Pear trees. They are one of the first trees to bloom and get your allergies acting up. They might seem beautiful with their white blooms, but they are ruining our landscape.
It’s hard to get from point A to point B without seeing probably hundreds of Bradford Pears along the way. It’s rare to see a field without a few in it. That is because Bradford Pears have become more invasive than Kudzu. They have become so invasive that the S.C. Forestry Commission has encouraged for everyone to cut down their Bradford Pears. Not only have they taken up space in vacant fields, they have begun spreading into forest land and crowding out native trees.
When Bradford Pears first became popular in the 1960s, it was believed that the tree was sterile and couldn’t be invasive. Their popularity lasted until the early 2000s when it became very apparent that this spring classic was actually taking over. These trees have been able to spread because they are able to cross-pollinate with native trees. Over time they also began producing fruit that birds ate, then they spread the seeds in their droppings. As these trees multiply, they develop sharp thorns and create dense thickets. They also affect native species of wood that are harvested for paper and wood production. Bradford Pears are threatening to so much!
Bradford Pears are also notorious for splitting down the middle during storms. Too much wind? Too much ice? Too much rain? Sounds like the perfect condition for a Bradford Pear to break. These trees have the ability to grow to be 50 feet tall and 30 feet wide so when they split, they have been known to cause plenty of damage to homes and vehicles.
If you have a Bradford Pear, consider getting rid of it to help get rid of the takeover. Native trees will thank you!
By: Hannah Raines
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