Bradford pear blooms

Bradford Pear tree replacement program set for Aiken Feb. 25

The City of Aiken is partnering with Clemson Extension and the South Carolina Forestry Commission and Cold Creek Nurseries for the Bradford Pear Bounty event on Feb. 25.

“Bradford pears are not native to the U.S. and have been widely planted in South Carolina for years. While the blossoms are pretty, they have a pungent odor and the trees often break during storms,” according to the Clemson Extension agency’s website. “Even worse, Bradford pear trees directly contribute to one of the worst invasive plant species in the Southeast – the Callery pear.”

The Bradford Pear Bounty program gives South Carolina homeowners the chance to replace their Bradford pears with up to five free native trees. For details, visit here.

The species was introduced to the United States from China in the early 1900s and was widely used for landscaping beginning in the 1950s.

“Its uniform shape, profuse white flowers and bright red foliage” made it a much-planted tree in the region, according to the South Carolina Forestry Commission.

The forestry commission suggests planting native alternatives such as serviceberry, fringe tree, tupelo or dogwood among many others.

The program will be from 8 to 11 a.m. Feb. 25 at Cold Creek Nurseries, 398 Hitchcock Pkwy., Aiken.

Aiken’s arborist Aaron Campbell and Clemson’s David Coyle will attend as well.

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