The Bradford pear tree was introduced to North America in the 1960s from China, brought by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Soon it became the most popular ornamental tree, prized for its glorious blooms in spring and long-lasting colors in autumn.
But its strong odor has become a problem for many and the tree creates a mess when the blooms fall. The trees choke out other plants and cost countless hours and resources to clear them from native woodlands
The Lexington Soil & Water Conservation District has teamed up with the Clemson Extension and The South Carolina Forestry Commission to launch the “Bradford Pear Bounty” program, through which property owners have the opportunity to exchange up to five Bradford pear trees for an equal number of free, native, young replacement trees.
Clemson Extension horticulture agent Jackie Jordan said
It really doesn't have great wildlife value. It's not beneficial to our songbirds, insects, and other animals, so there's not a lot of food value there. You do have to do the work yourself of getting your Bradford chopped down, but a free tree will be the reward. Volunteers will help you with tips on how to care for the tree, where to plant it, and what kind of tree to get in return.
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