It's being banned, killed with fire and there's a bounty. How to stop the Bradford Pear

There are trees in a field behind a cemetery.

Growing more trees is one way to help.

A landscape designer and contractor who has written about a white flowering tree said that it is possible to kill it.

They will be easy to spot when they are hidden among the other trees. The tree flowers and fills the air with a particular scent.

There are rewards on this tree.

It will soon be banned in South Carolina, and scientists are looking at ways to kill the pear.

The commission cautions against planting the trees.

Ashmore said that theBradford pear is an ecological nightmare and it's better for everyone if it's dead.

Ashmore said that the trees choke out other plants in fallow fields, which are empty pieces of land that are the forests of the future.

The ban on the trees in South Carolina will give plant nursery owners a transition period to sell leftovers. The ban on new sales of the plant will start in October.

'Curse of the Bradford pear' is not something to sneeze at.

It could be centuries until the Bradford pears are eliminated, Ashmore said.

All of our oaks, maples, hickories and so forth are not being threatened for survival, but they are being outcompeted. Ashmore said.

The native species in South Carolina will struggle as long as the Bradford pear is alive, he said.

How do you kill a pear?

Sometimes, if left alone, the Bradford pear will kill itself.

One of the dangers of the tree is its weak branches.

The federal Department of Agriculture introduced a sterile hybrid called the Bradford pear into the landscape in the 1960s.

The trees broke too much in the 80s. The weak branch structure of the trees causes it to break from old age and high winds.

It's not a good idea to park a car underneath a pear because of the weak branch intersection.

Ashmore said that the trees have a weak structure at the "v" of the branch, but strong in the other directions so it snaps and the part that snaps can be dangerous.

The trees can create a "dead zone" with the trees growing in thick mass with a dense canopy growing early in the year, keeping the light out for the rest of the plants.

Evolving into a hybrid that punctures tires.

Scientists developed pear trees that weren't prone to breaking. The new trees interbred with the Bradford pears, creating a scene right out of Little Shop of Horrors.

Ashmore said that the hybrid tree is a big part of why the trees are so bad.

Although the trees have a relatively short lifespan of two decades, they could very well be on their way to a tenth generation of reproducing.

The ancient wild Chinese pears from the mountains are just a thicket mess, and the Callery pears are just like them. Ashmore said. It is an impenetrable thicket. The Callery pears have thorns that are four inches long.

The thorns can puncture tires. It's difficult to push down a field of fruit.

The thorns can hurt people and animals and damage tires.

The Assistant Professor of Forest Health and Invasive Species at the University of South Carolina was at a patch of trees in a field behind a cemetery.

It's a serious plant problem and that's the reason why Clemson has been offering a bounty on the tree. Get native trees for free if you rip out or cut down up to five Bradford pears.

Is it possible to kill it with fire?

Free replacement trees and education programs haven't stopped the trees from growing, despite the fact that Coyle was a key part of the bounty program.

There are wild trees all over and stopping the sale of future trees could help.

Coyle is looking at something.

It is possible to reduce the chance of tire punctures by using fire. Prescribed fire is a commonly-used land management tactic. "I said that."

The Callery pear can't be eliminated by fire.

The callery pear tree is prone to regrowth after fire, so Coyle and others are studying ways to use fire to curb the tree.

The exact best combination for small and large trees is being studied.

These trees pose a threat to the food chain and pose a negative effect on forests.

The survival of many species depends on the availability of arthropods.

A woman walks down 13th Street past a group of pear trees that are starting to blossom. South Carolina will no longer allow the sale of Bradford pear trees in October of 2024.

Callery pears are not particularly good snacks for caterpillar-like creatures.

He said that Callery pear is a food desert for birds.

There is a decline in the number of birds where there are non-native plants.

The damage done by the Bradford pears is worsened by the few birds that come around spreading the seeds in the fields.

There are many native plants that gardeners can plant.

Dogwood, redbud, and swamp titi are spring flowers. He said to try black gum for bright fall foliage.

Ashmore likes serviceberry, witch-hazel, and Carolina silverbell.

Chinese pistache and amur maple are alternative trees that gardeners should avoid. The experts said that burning bush, privet and nandina are some of the worst non-native shrubs.

There are alternatives to the trees.

Ashmore said that there are many ecological problems, but that an easy fix is the Bradford pear tree.

The other tree species will struggle to survive if they grow in South Carolina.

He said all species. "All our native species."

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The article was first published on Anderson Independent Mail. Killing with fire is banned.