Bradford Pear Bounty
Bradford Pear Bounty
Saturday, March 18 | 9-11 am
Public Works Operations Center, 234 Friendship Chapel Road
***THIS EVENT IS FULL - REGISTRATION IS CLOSED***
Area residents can remove an invasive Bradford pear tree from their property and exchange it for a free native tree at a Bradford Pear Bounty Saturday, March 18, from 9-11 a.m. at the Public Works Operations Center, 234 Friendship Chapel Road.
Registration is required and will remain open until the event reaches capacity. Trees are unable to be shipped or reserved for later pickup, so pre-registered participants must pick up their trees from 9-11 a.m.
Know Before You Register
Before registering, please note the following:
Only homeowners can register and receive replacement trees.
Tree removal is the homeowner’s responsibility. Select local tree care companies will offer Bradford pear tree removal discounts for program participants.
Pre-registered participants must take before-and-after photos of the Bradford pear trees they’ve cut down.
If the tree was not flowering when cut, an additional photo with a close-up of the leaves or bark is required. Participants must show the images to event organizers, who will then provide a 3-gallon native tree for each (up to five) they’ve cut down.Residents who cut down their Bradford pear should cut as close to the ground as possible and paint the stump with an effective systemic herbicide to kill the root system. Alternatively, homeowners can remove the stump from the ground entirely to help prevent it from re-sprouting.
Tree species cannot be reserved, and tree selection will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Replacement native trees are subject to availability and may include boxelder (Acer negundo), red maple (Acer rubrum), silver maple (Acer saccharinum), serviceberry (Amelanchier spp.), pawpaw (Asimina triloba), flowering dogwood (Benthamidia Florida), river birch (Betula nigra), Eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis), American beech (Fagus grandifolia), tulip poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera), swamp blackgum (Nyssa biflora), sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) or swamp white oak (Quercus bicolor).
Bradford Pear Bounty NC
Bradford Pear Bounty NC is a partnership between NC Wildlife Federation, NC State Extension, NC Urban Forest Council and NC Forest Service to help control the spread of invasive Bradford pears by removing them from communities and replacing them with native alternatives.
The first Bradford pear exchange occurred last year, and Triad-area residents cut down 250 Bradford pear trees in the region and replaced them with native ones.
“Everyone initially believed Bradford pears wouldn’t spread, but they did - quickly. It wasn’t long before they escaped into our natural forests and began to outcompete native species,” said Tara Moore, NCWF’s director of conservation partnerships.
Leslie Moorman, executive director of N.C. Urban Forest Council added, “We were happily overwhelmed with the positive response the program received at the first tree exchange in Greensboro. Residents were eager to give the boot to these meddlesome and foul-smelling invaders, and we look forward to hosting future tree exchange events around the state as funding and logistics permit.”
Why Bradford Pears?
Bradford pear (Pyrus calleryana) is a medium-sized, deciduous, invasive tree native to China and Taiwan. For years, they were planted in urban areas as ornamental trees. Since its introduction to the United States, the Bradford pear has escaped cultivation and entered natural areas and disturbed habitats where it spreads rapidly, creating a monoculture and displacing native plants.
The so-called ornamental tree threatens the balance of environmental biodiversity by competing with native grasses, wildflowers, shrubs, and young trees, negatively impacting the wildlife and pollinators that depend on those native plant and tree species.
Bradford pears have waxy, dark green leaves and five-petaled flowers that grow in clusters on the terminal ends of the tree. The flowers have an unpleasant, musky scent in spring. Once pollinated, the flowers develop into abundant fruits, contributing to their dispersal. The trees have weak branches that often break due to high wind, snow, and ice, making them hazardous trees on the landscape and relatively short-lived.
Moore added, “White fringe (Chionanthus virginicus) or Carolina silverbell (Halesia diptera) are excellent native trees with similar bloom times and colors to the Bradford pear; however, any native trees are encouraged as replacements.”