NC Bradford Pear Bounty

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Image of a blooming Bradford pear tree with vibrant white blooms covering the tree.

Bradford pear tree in full bloom. Image by Dr. Kelly Oten.

The Bradford pear tree is an ornamental commonly planted tree in North Carolina but did you know it is an invasive species? Sure, it has pretty blossoms, but it also smells of rotten fish, breaks easily during storms, and outcompetes native trees. Bradford pears can also breed with other varieties of pear trees that produce long thorns and spread in natural forests, replacing native trees and creating “food deserts” for birds. These trees are damaging to our natural ecosystems and need to be removed and replaced.

You’ll see their characteristic white blooms in full effect in March or early spring.

We’re teaming up with the NC Forest Service, NC Urban Forest Council, and NC Wildlife Federation to encourage North Carolinians to properly remove and replace these invasive trees.

Close up image of multiple white Bradford pear flowers with pink or brown speckles on the petals.

Image of white Bradford pear blooms. Image by Dr. Kelly Oten.

When you cut down your Bradford pear tree, we’ll give you a native tree to replace it (up to 5 native trees)! You must sign-up and provide proof of removal to attend an NC Bradford Pear Bounty event and receive native trees.

*We are planning events in various locations across NC. Specifc dates and locations can be found on

The property owner is responsible for tree removal. You may choose to remove it yourself or hire a professional (find a Certified Arborist). Some organizations are also offering discounts on the removal of these trees (find a partnering organization). Stumps should be treated with an herbicide to prevent resprouting. Don’t forget to take before and after photos to act as proof of removal.

Find answers to frequently asked questions, events, what native trees may be provided, how to register, and more on

For more about Bradford pears and related cultivars, check out this NC State Extension publication.

Another great article to read for more information on this invasive species and the bounty offered is this article from NC State CNR with Dr. Kelly Oten, NC State Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist in Forest Health.