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Bring out your Bradfords! Bounty on invasive pear tree can get you up to 5 new replacement trees

Clemson Extension Service will exchange the invasive species with a native tree.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — No one likes Bradford pear trees. 

Once upon a time, landscapers and homeowners planted Bradford pear trees because of the tree's pretty spring blossoms but the pungent odor and frail trunks -- the trees can easily break in a storm -- have caused them to fall out of favor. Worse, according to Clemson Extension Services, Bradford pear trees contribute to the spread of one of the most invasive plant species in the Southeast, the callery pear.

So, what to do?

Clemson Extension has put a bounty on the Bradford pear tree. 

Property owners can take advantage of the bounty and exchange up to five Bradford pear trees for an equal number of young native replacement trees -- for FREE -- during a tree swap Saturday, Oct. 23.

The event, 1-4 p.m. at Sandhill REC located at 900 Clemson Rd. in Columbia, does have some rules.

  • Pre-registration is required for the exchange
  • Only the property owner can register and get the trees
  • Any South Carolina resident can participate and take part in the program.
  • Property owners are responsible for tree removal.
  • Take a photo of yourself with the cut tree (a selfie, if you will) and bring it to the exchange event.
  • Replacement trees will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis while supplies last. If your preferred replacement tree is not available at time of distribution, you will be provided with a healthy alternative. Specific tree species cannot be reserved ahead of the event.

Learn more about the Bradford pear and about the bounty on the trees at clemson.edu/extension/bradford-pear.