RALEIGH, N.C. — Recently there has been a movement to remove the invasive Bradford pear tree from North Carolina.


What You Need To Know

The NC Bradford Pear Bounty is offering free native trees to residents who remove their Bradford pear trees

Bradford pear trees are fragile and easily crack during storms, and they also produce a smell when flowering

Many tree removal services are offering discounts on Bradford pear tree removal


“So there's a lot of people who just never even knew that Bradford pears were invasive. So just getting the chance to spread the word, and hopefully you know, turn this excess amount of Bradford pears into more of a trickle into our natural ecosystems is really what we're getting at here,” Kelly Oten said.

Oten is part of the NC Bradford Pear Tree Bounty, which is an initiative to remove the invasive species from North Carolina.

“These trees. They're ideal for a lot of landscape plantings, or at least they were at first. And then we started to realize that they break apart very easily. That's not ideal. They smell really bad, which a lot of people realize pretty early on. And that's not ideal. But really the biggest issue is that they can cross with one another and produce a viable offspring. And when those seeds get into natural areas, they can really just take over,” Oten said.

Oten and some friends joined together on this mission to offer up a bounty for Bradford pear trees. 

“Talked about this tree and how much we disliked it, not just as an urban planting, but how it's an invasive species,” Oten said.

The goal is to raise awareness and out the negative effects invasive species have on our ecosystem. The idea of the tree bounty came from South Carolina, where it has been done for years.

“Anyone who has a Bradford pear or any cultivar of Pyrus calleryana on their property can remove it. Show evidence when they show up to the event and get a free native replacement,” Oten said.

There are tree bounties in more than just the Carolinas. Ohio has also made the move to rid the state of the Bradford pear tree. 

“We're seeing several states starting to ban the sale and planting of these trees,” Oten said.

As the word spreads more homeowners are realizing the importance of native trees in the ecosystem and learning about the negatives the Bradford pear tree has.

That’s where people like Nathan Drozewoski come in. Groundsmen like him take more precautions when cutting down Bradford pear trees because of how frail they are.

“They do crack, upon the drop of the tree,” Drozewoski said.

Drozewoski says people should look into getting their Bradford pear trees removed as soon as possible.

“They’re not very good of a tree. They’re bad for the ecosystem. They don’t really produce much healthy environment from them, so it's a good idea to get them taken out and removed,” Drozewoski said.