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The Spread of the Bradford Pear

Making It Grow Minute
SC Public Radio
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The original Bradford pear that swept the nation in popularity because of its lack of pests, fast growth habit, and masses of flowers, actually nasty smelling, soon lost its favored child status as its branching habit was prone to breaking. New cultivars such as Aristocrat and Autumn Blaze were sold and now the individually self-infertile trees began cross pollinating and creating viable seeds that like their parents could grow almost anywhere birds or water moved them, they are in fact weed trees. Sadly, unlike their parents, many have dangerous attributes – three inch long, very sharp stout thorns that easily puncture even the large tires on tractors and heavy equipment. Fields left fallow for only a few years quickly become infested. People clearing these fields must use machines with tank tread propulsion and get up every root to prevent resprouting.