The Return of the Bradford Pear Bounty Program: South Carolina Takes a Stand Against Invasive Species

December 13, 2023

The Bradford Pear Bounty program is making a triumphant return, offering South Carolina homeowners a unique opportunity to contribute to the fight against invasive plant species. Bradford pears, not native to the U.S., have become a significant factor in the proliferation of the invasive callery pear in the Southeast. This program empowers property owners to remove Bradford pears from their land, with the added incentive of receiving FREE native trees as replacements.

Program Details

The upcoming exchange event in Clinton is scheduled for Saturday, March 30, 2024 . This is a chance for local residents to participate in the Bradford Pear Bounty program. Pre-registration is mandatory, and interested property owners can find the registration link on Clemson Extension’s website.

It is crucial to note that property owners are responsible for the removal of the Bradford pear trees. The Forestry Commission does not provide tree removal services. To better understand the exchange process and explore a list of replacement trees, homeowners can visit the dedicated page on Clemson Extension’s website by clicking HERE.

Participation Criteria

Several criteria govern participation in the program:

  • Pre-registration is Required: Click the “Register” link on the right under your desired year and city.
  • Exclusive to Property Owners: Only property owners are eligible to register and receive replacement trees.
  • Open to All South Carolina Residents: Any South Carolina resident can participate, regardless of location within the state.
  • Self-Documentation: Property owners must take a photo with the cut tree (a selfie is encouraged) and bring it to the exchange event.
  • First-Come, First-Serve Basis: Replacement trees will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis, while supplies last. If the preferred replacement tree is unavailable, a healthy alternative will be provided.

South Carolina’s Bold Move

South Carolina has taken a significant step in addressing the Bradford pear issue, becoming the second state in the U.S. to ban the nursery sale of Bradford pear trees and other pear trees grown on the widely used Pyrus calleryana rootstock. The ban, effective October 1, 2024, aligns with the annual nursery licensing renewal date in South Carolina.

This move follows Ohio’s pioneering regulations, which came into effect on January 1, 2023, after passing in 2018 with a 5-year grandfathering period. The ban aims to curb the spread of the Pyrus calleryana species, also known as the Callery pear, and three species of Elaeagnus, as recognized by the State Plant Pest List.

Seeking Further Information

Those interested in learning more about Callery pear can reach out to David Jenkins at the SC Forestry Commission via email at [email protected]. Additionally, the Clemson Invasive Species Program can provide valuable insights through their website: Clemson Invasive Species Program.