Bradford pear tree ban begins in South Carolina in 2024

State - Regional

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WBTW/AP) — South Carolina is banning sales of a popular but invasive tree.

Starting on Oct. 1, 2024, nurseries in South Carolina will be prohibited from selling Bradford Pear and Callery pear trees.

The trees are known for their early spring white flowers. When it blooms in the spring, the tree, also referred to as Callery, produces white flowers before it leafs out. The flowers are pungent and unpleasant-smelling.

But they also are known as one of the weakest structural trees in existence, with branches that commonly break after 10 to 15 years and a short life expectancy of 20 to 30 years.

An expert says the fast-growing, early-flowering trees have begun to choke out the natural landscape in fields across the state and country.

Researchers with Clemson University’s College of Agriculture say the ban on sales will begin on October 1st, 2024 – the annual nursery licensing renewal date in South Carolina.Nancy Mace calls attention to Lowcountry flooding during House Infrastructure hearing 

“The additions of Pyrus calleryana — or Callery pear — along with three species of Elaeagnus to the State Plant Pest List met the approval of state agency representatives and the director of Clemson’s Regulatory and Public Service Programs,” Clemson University said. “The clock is now ticking on a grandfathering period of a little more than 3 years for the nursery industry to comply with the new regulations by ceasing sale of these plant species.”

While the ban will make the plants illegal to sell or trade, they will not be illegal to possess and you won’t be required to remove them from your property.

You can read more about the Bradford Pear and the move to eradicate them in South Carolina by clicking here.

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