Savannah Valley District

Bradford Pear Bounty – Hampton County

Amanda Taylor, Forestry and Natural Resources Agent

Extension Agent Rob Last helps visitors pick their new trees.

On Saturday, March 2nd, 2024, Clemson Extension staff members gathered at the Hampton County Extension office to distribute native trees. Locals who registered and provided evidence of removing up to 5 Bradford pear trees could receive up to 5 free native trees in return. The goal of this program, established by Extension Specialist Dr. David Coyle in 2020, is to replace the pungent and short-lived Bradford pear tree with native species that are beautiful and productive for wildlife.

The Bradford pear became an extremely popular landscape tree during the 1960s and continues to be a smelly menace across the country. Bradford pears have a short lifespan, easily succumb to injury and disease, and can crossbreed with the invasive Callery pear. Callery pear seeds are a delicious snack to birds, and when spread to a forest setting, these trees can overtake the understory of a forest and choke   out native species.

Starting on October 1st, 2024, the sale of all Pyrus Calleryana trees or rootstock will be banned in South Carolina. This is an effort to preserve the landscape, forests, and your nose. In addition to adhering to the purchasing ban, homeowners are encouraged to remove existing trees.

At the Hampton County tree bounty, 41 trees were distributed, which means 41 Bradford pears have been removed from the surrounding area. Registrants came from 5 counties, the furthest coming from Lexington County. All remaining native trees will be planted throughout Hampton at public offices, schools, and greenspaces.

Looking to find another tree bounty event near you? Head to the Bradford Pear Bounty website to see their upcoming events and learn more about the Bradford pear:

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